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Oxford Police Department Hiring, Students Welcome

Contributed by School of Journalism and New Media student Olivia Smith

Oxford Police Department recruit Mackenzie Rogers is a senior at the University of Mississippi.

Law enforcement goes beyond enforcing laws; it’s about building community connections and support, according to Oxford Police Administrative Sergeant Mark Smith. Right now, he says they are looking to hire a patrol officer who shares that vision.

Smith says officers in Oxford have to be able to transition from counseling individuals to managing situations involving resistance.

“A lot of different hats; one minute you might be a counselor or helping somebody with a mental health issue, and the next minute you might be dealing with someone who is resisting arrest and you have to figure out how to get them in custody,” Smith said.

The ability to adapt to these diverse scenarios is crucial in the policing profession and makes for a respected officer. Despite recent controversies surrounding law enforcement nationally, Smith says OPD has been fortunate within the Oxford community.

“We’ve gotten nothing but very positive support, not only from the mayor, the board, the city leaders, but from the folks who live here, so I think that a plus,” Smith said.

Mackenzie Rogers, a senior at the University of Mississippi and a new recruit with the OPD, began her journey through an internship.

“I interned with OPD and I saw what an amazing department they were and how they were like community-oriented policing; they volunteered; they connected to the community. It wasn’t just writing tickets like other agencies are more interested in, like bringing in profit — they were making genuine connections with people,” Rogers said.

Rogers says OPD has qualities she values, citing “passion and compassion” as crucial traits. Similarly, Smith looks for attributes such as “good decision-making and judgment” in potential recruits.

To apply for a position with OPD, you must be 21 or older, have completed Police Academy programs and have strong recommendations, according to Smith.

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