As sheriff of Porter County, I have grown accustomed to Porter County being one of the fastest-growing counties in Indiana.
The growth south of U.S. 30 is unprecedented, and other areas north are experiencing similar growth. Yet everyone wants to be safe and secure in their homes, at work or shopping with the family.
What sets Porter County apart from most counties in the state is most of the county is still unincorporated. Those areas expect and deserve quick response times when a police officer is needed. We also have all come to an agreement that heroin is a major epidemic in Porter County and is directly related to most, if not all, crime.
Nevertheless, we are lucky to live in a county that supports law enforcement and all first responders. County government, including the Porter County Council and commissioners, have a lot on their plate yet have worked together in the past couple years to give county police and jail officers a well-deserved raise and the necessary equipment.
I am grateful for their support. However, if someone were to suggest a public safety tax, most people, especially elected officials who want to be re-elected, would immediately give a thousand reasons why it would not be a good idea.
But given the current state of affairs, law enforcement and fire departments have been in desperate need of a training facility.
Finding a suitable location and facility has been a constant struggle. But this struggle is over with the creation of the Multi-Agency Academic Cooperative training facility for first responders.
This state-of-the-art-training facility is the result of the generosity and commitment of McMillan Family Foundation, formed by Stewart McMillan, chairman and CEO of Task Force Tips.
In the past few months, the Porter County Sheriff’s Office has conducted physical training for the entire department as well as SWAT Training and K-9 training.
SWAT Team commander, Lt. Wiseman, brought the entire SWAT team out recently to the MAAC for a full day of training and stated, “This state-of-the art facility has it all. The trainers can immerse our people in real-world applications by reconfiguring rooms and using different entry points.”
Chief Stewart McMillan has fulfilled a vision to develop a training center that provides emergency responder preparedness, safety and better training opportunities.
McMillan has been a gracious host, and all of the public servants in the District 1 area should be grateful for his support. Thank you to McMillan and the MAAC foundation for helping the first responders to better prepare ourselves for the jobs we love to do.
On behalf of the entire sheriff’s office, I want to express our sincere appreciation.
This training represents not only a legacy to his father, Chief Clyde McMillan, but also a much-needed cooperative effort to work with government and first responders.