October 26 – The Howard G. Buffett Foundation today announced a $15 million commitment to construct a new, 46,000 square foot training facility that will be owned and operated by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (ILETSB) and designed to meet the law enforcement training needs of the state of Illinois.
The state of the art facility is located on a five-acre parcel on US Route 51 South and Grove Road and will include a two-story, 14,000 square foot administrative building with a mock court room, a mock jail booking facility, scenario rooms, training rooms and other facilities; a 9,000 square foot twenty-lane indoor weapons range; and a two-story, 23,000 square foot building with ninety beds to house students during training and for senior law enforcement officials for specialty training.
“I have had the opportunity to serve as an auxiliary deputy and undersheriff with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office for over four years,” said Howard G. Buffett, Chairman and CEO of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. “During that time, I have gained significant insight into the needs of law enforcement. Working with the Sheriff’s Office and the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board to build this facility directly aligns with our Foundation’s goals of creating jobs and supporting local businesses in the Decatur area as well as enhancing the quality of life and public safety of the region as whole.”
The Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board is the state agency mandated to promote and maintain a high level of professional standards for law enforcement and correctional officers.
“Thanks to the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, this facility will provide a state of the art atmosphere for our law enforcement to meet its many mandates and provide the foundation for basic and specialized training opportunities, which will benefit all local communities.” said Board Chairman, Valerie Salmons.
This project was made possible through a collaborative effort by many individuals with support from the Macon County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Decatur, and the Decatur Police Department. “It has been a great opportunity to work with Mr. Buffett,” said ILETSB Executive Director, Brent Fischer. “His support for law enforcement is deeply appreciated and this facility will give us many tools to provide effective training to our law enforcement family throughout the state of Illinois.”
Construction begins this week and is being led by Romano Company, working in conjunction with Trades and Labor to ensure that 70 percent of work will be completed using union labor. The facility is scheduled to be completed in the Fall of 2017.