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The Hillsdale County Sheriff’s office and the Litch­field Regional Training Center will receive funding in the 2022 state budget according to Susan Smith, exec­utive director of the Eco­nomic Devel­opment Part­nership of Hillsdale County.

According to Smith, the budget will pri­marily provide the sheriff’s office with upgrades to radio services.

“The radio com­mu­ni­ca­tions upgrade for our sheriff’s office will result in the deputies being able to com­mu­nicate with law enforcement agencies outside of Hillsdale County,” Smith said. 

According to Smith, the com­mu­ni­ca­tions system at the sheriff’s office is in dire need of an upgrade in order to best serve the people of Hillsdale county. 

“Our deputies have been working basi­cally on an island without the ability to reach out to assist or to request assis­tance,” Smith said. 

The upgrade is needed as almost every county sur­rounding Hillsdale has already updated to a better system, according to Smith.

“Every county around us including those in Indiana and Ohio as well as the Michigan State Police have all upgraded to an 8‑megahertz system,” she said. 

The upgrade to the radio com­mu­ni­ca­tions center will further allow the sheriff’s office to serve the people to the best of their ability. 

The sheriff’s office was not the only place in Hillsdale to receive funding. The Litch­field Regional Training Center, a trade school that offers classes on many sub­jects such as engi­neering and auditing, also received funding in hopes of pro­viding more skilled and accom­plished workers to bring eco­nomic success to Hillsdale. 

“The Litch­field Regional Training Center has been upgrading the skills for employees, stu­dents and the public since 2010 and will now have hands-on equipment to teach con­cepts and oper­ation systems.” 

New equipment at the training center will allow employees to learn new skilled trades that will help them succeed in Hillsdale and elsewhere. 

“With tech­nology at the fore­front of investment for employers, it is critical that the work­force gain skills at a much higher level so they can be globally com­pet­itive,” Smith said. 

The inclusion of these two projects in the pro­posed 2022 state budget is sup­ported by Michigan Senate Majority Leader Shirkey, a Republican. 

The money in the state budget will directly benefit many Hillsdale County res­i­dents and serve the community. 

Shirkey’s spokes­woman, Abby Mitch, said, “Sen. Shirkey is proud to rep­resent Hillsdale res­i­dents and fam­ilies and glad that dollars in the state budget are coming back to our local com­mu­nities to benefit the tax­payer right here at home.” 

According to Rep. Andrew Fink, “The new state budget plan for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 invests heavily in work­force devel­opment, bringing the total investment to roughly $100 million. The funds will go to existing pro­grams such as Going PRO, internship and apprentice programs.” 

Fink said the upgrade in the radio com­mu­ni­ca­tions system will help the sheriff’s office to best serve its people. 

“Public safety is the first respon­si­bility of the gov­ernment to the people,” Fink said. 

He also said Hillsdale is in need of more skilled workers who will help the economy.

“Our area is in severe need of more skilled workers who can help our economy grow and flourish.”