FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WVNS)– State Senator Stephen Baldwin made a stop in Fayetteville on May 23, 2022, to present a check to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department.

The $68,000 to fund the purchase of a new training facility came from a Local Economic Development Assistance Grant made possible by teamwork from State Senator Stephen Baldwin, the sheriff’s department, and the Fayette county commission.

Fayette County Sheriff Mike Fridley said some of his deputies drive for hours, even as far as Sissonville, just to find a place to train. But with the new facility, they hope to cut these trips down.

“You can’t beat that,” said Sheriff Fridley. “I mean if you have one in your own county that’s yours, that you can go at any time and qualify, or go down there and practice to make you good and proficient with your weapon.”

The former training facility for the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department is located in Beckwith. But it’s been closed for over 10 years.

Sheriff Fridley told 59News that when he took over, he knew finding a new place for his employees to train was going to be one of his biggest priorities.

“I’ve said it earlier and many times, taking care of my men and women with pay, which we’ve been able to do that some, and we’re still going to work on that. The other thing was having a range so we could train properly. The men and women of my department can be trained proficiently with their weapons,” said Fridley.

Fayette County Commission President and former law enforcement officer Allison Taylor, says helping to secure the money for a new training facility is a major win for public safety in Fayette County.

“Every once in a while you have to pull out your gun while other people are around, unfortunately,” said Taylor. “So it would minimize those sorts of risks.”

Senator Baldwin said securing the money from the government was a challenge. But he was proud to see the project through and deliver the funding to Fayette County.

“We actually were denied once, and had some heated meetings after that,” said the Senator. “We re-submitted, gave them more information, got a letter from the commission, a letter from the sheriff, and they saw the light.”