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.”