by: Greg Hurst
MISS. — Every year in Mississippi, 125 people vanish, about 10 a month, and they need someone to find them. The Mississippi Department of Corrections is joining forces with the Mississippi Highway Patrol to help find missing people.
Marc McClure knows search and rescue. He’s the superintendent at Parchman prison. Now, he and his team are putting their skills to use to find children or anyone else in a desperate situation who might be missing.
“You’ve got to find out what your area is, got to talk to everybody to find out who’s missing, what they’re wearing, what they may be driving maybe that sort of thing,” McClure said. “And then try to locate where they’re last seen. Then you start in your quadrants like we’re searching today, we’ll have quadrants.”
Two years ago, the governor got the public safety commissioner to form the Mississippi Highway Mounted Patrol, specifically dedicated to search and rescue.
Now, they’re partnering with experienced rescue riders at Parchman to form a team.
“They have horses, we have horses, and it becomes a force multiplier.,” said Captain Lee Morrison with MHP. “We go from six with the Highway Patrol to 16 in a collaborative effort.”
The more hoofs on the ground, the faster they move and the more ground they cover.
“When we do search & rescue, we have resources in north Mississippi right here. We have prisons over the whole state, just like they have patrols over the whole state, so this doubles the efforts,” said Burl Cain, commissioner with the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
This increases their chances of success.
“So, it’s good when we work together and train together, so we absolutely know what to do, when we’re looking for a lost child, or someone who’s lost,” Cain said. “It lets us know we can work together as a unit.”
This is why this team trains because the hard work today could mean the difference in life and death tomorrow.