Hudson County now has its own public safety academy. County officials cut the ribbon for the new Hudson County Public Safety Training Center on Jan. 12.
County Executive Tom DeGise, Chairman of the County Commissioners Anthony Vainieri, County Commissioner Anthony Romano, and County Sheriff Frank Schillari were among officials at the grand opening in Secaucus.
The facility is at 635 County Ave., the former site of the Hudson County Juvenile Detention Center. The detention center closed in 2015 following a contract to send juvenile offenders to a site in Essex County as part of a money-saving effort.
The first class of 35 officers arrived on Jan. 15.
Years in the making
The opening of the training center marks the completion of a years-long campaign by Vainieri, who said he ran on the issue in his 2014 bid for County Commissioner. When Vainieri first became Chairman in 2017, he said that the project was in motion and the county was close to making the facility a reality. He and Romano have been working on the project ever since.
When Vainieri was again elected chairman in 2018, he said he looked forward to breaking ground on the training center that year.
Following his reelection as chairman in 2019, Vainieri said that the county was waiting for permits for the state. The situation remained static into 2020. After being reelected as chairman in 2020, Vainieri reiterated that the training center project was close to completion.
In July, Vainieri estimated the facility would open before fall. But due to COVID-19 and state restrictions on essential construction, the county was delayed in opening the center.
Vainieri announced in September that the facility would open in January of this year.
The county was waiting to obtain certification by the state, but first needed to complete exterior upgrades, including the addition of 60 parking spots. Later that month, the County Commissioners voted to bond nearly $450,000 to pay for the renovations.
Months later, the project came to fruition.
The facility is anticipated to be a money maker for the county. According to officials, it will save taxpayers money that is normally used to pay for out-of-county training for new recruits. The hope is to attract recruits from other counties that would pay to train at the facility.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.