COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Boone County plans to break ground early next year on a new regional law enforcement training center that will include a daycare to provide cheaper, around-the-clock childcare to first responders' families.
The new training center will have a training room with a 160-seat capacity that can be divided into smaller rooms, according to an application for funding. It will also house an indoor shooting rage and shoot house, firearms and driving simulators and an indoor training area large enough for vehicles used in practical training exercises.
Rooms inside will simulate residences and jail cells to train for different scenarios. It will also include a 24/7 daycare service for the children of first responders.
Boone County Commissioner Kip Kendrick hopes that this daycare center will help retain and recruit first responders. He knows how difficult it is to find affordable childcare and something that works with a first responder's demanding schedule.
"Child care is really at crisis levels in the United States, certainly here in the state of Missouri and in Boone County....Is it accessible? And then secondly, is it affordable. Now that issue with public safety personnel, first responders is exacerbated even more because of the scheduling," said Kendrick.
Boone County is modeling this regional training center after the San Diego Police Officer's Association Childcare Center, the application states. The San Diego center provides 50% subsidized childcare and hires staff 20% above the market rate.
This center will be open to all agencies regionally, locally and statewide.
The project will cost $8 million, with half from the federal government and half from local funding.