New law enforcement center bringing jobs to Decatur

DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - The Macon County Law Enforcement Training Center (MCLETC), on the South side of Decatur, is bringing jobs, education and dollars to Decatur and the surrounding area.

Commander Tad A. Williams, who runs the program says the Howard G. Buffett Foundation built the building and handed it over to the Illinois Law Enforcement Standards Board.  It signed an intergovernmental agreement with Richland Community College to operate it. 

The MCLETC brings in officers, deputies and correctional officers from 31 agencies all over the state for training. 

“We go as far north as Zion Illinois to Southern Illinois,” Williams

Ryan McCrady, President Decatur/Macon County Economic Development Corporation says the MCLETC has had a two fold impact on the Decatur/Macon County Economy. 

“First impact: construction - They used local contractors, local workers to build it. Created an immediate impact of wages going through our community. Second benefit--other jobs created. RCC provides culinary services too.  It helps people going to Richland learn skills and become employable people in our community,” said McCrady.

But the local economic ripple effect doesn't stop there.

“We do have a contract with a local dry cleaners, a contract a local cleaning service and when they have liberties they go out in town and they can go bowling, watch a movie, out to dinner.” said Williams.

Recruits and cadets are at the training center for 14 weeks.  560 hours of training, right on campus. They're trained in criminal offices, vehicle code, firearms training control and arrest tactics, 40 hours of scenarios.

“Mr. Buffett is a friend of law enforcement throughout our entire state.  And since he is from this area, that's one of the reasons brought it here--to increase the economy here while still helping out law enforcement.  It's a win win, centrally located and meant to be,” said Williams.