RAYMOND, Miss. (WJTV) – Hinds Community College (HCC) in Raymond and the Mississippi Highway Patrol (MHP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday, April 11 for enrolled criminal justice students to participate in their C.O.R.E. program.

After months of preparation, HCC and MHP would like to welcome the C.O.R.E. Program for candidates on rapid entry and Hinds students who are on a criminal justice track.

The C.O.R.E. Program will allow participating students to be enrolled in a one-year program consisting of a hands-on experience and physical preparation with MHP to move directly into the Mississippi Highway Patrol school.

The program is also offered at Itawamba Community College in Fulton.

Leaders with HCC and MHP believe the program will give students a great opportunity to fulfill a career with law enforcement after graduation.

“I’m very excited. I think that this is a great start to something that can be really good, not only just for our department, for our state and possibly throughout our country, as this culture of law enforcement becomes more intense, said Trooper First Class Heath Mullins.

Dr. Keri Cole, Vice President of Construction for Academic and Transfer Programs, and Criminal Justice professors are thrilled for current and future students.

“We are thrilled that Mississippi Highway Patrol partnered with the community colleges and saw the existing curriculum of criminal justice, and they saw we were a great fit for what they were looking for,” said Cole.

“My emotions are all over the place,” said Dr. Shannon Anderson, Criminal Justice and Sociology Department Professor. “I’m very excited for my students, very excited to expose them and put criminal justice on the map.”

Current and future students at HCC who are interested in criminal justice will be able to start the C.O.R.E. program starting in Fall 2022.