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Buena Vista Public Safety Director Reggie Williams enrolled in fire academy

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Police hat

A police officer's hat.

The director of public safety in Buena Vista Township is going through the fire academy to get cross-trained for police and fire positions.

BUENA VISTA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJRT) - With more than two decades in law enforcement under his belt, Buena Vista Police Chief Reggie Williams is taking on a new challenge.

"I am attending the fire academy," he said.

Twenty-five years after graduating from the police academy, his decision to take the police academy surprised many people.

"It's been I would say the, 'Really?' That's the question I get, 'Really?' And then there's been some some laughter," Williams said. 

But even at 47-years-old, Williams said he is up to the challenge.

"I keep myself in pretty, pretty decent shape. As far as book work, I'm always reading anyway, so it's not too big of a stretch for me," he said.

But a little more than a week in, Williams said he already has a new appreciation for the work firefighters do each and every day.

"Fire is a very underrated service, very underrated service, and they're the people that are involved, truly committed and dedicated people," Williams said.

He wants to make clear, his fire training does not mean there is a plan to merge the Buena Vista Township police and fire departments into a combined department of public safety.

"I have great firefighters here. I got great police officers here and I want them to know that their job but they came to do signed up to do because what they're here but as we get new hires coming in, just want to make sure that if I'm able to fill those slots with cross-trained individuals, that's what I want to do"  Williams said.

He has already started that process. He has two people currently in the academy that will come out cross-trained.

One of them will start in Buena Vista Township this month and will be the first crossed-trained officer in Saginaw County. If all goes well, Williams will complete his training in April.

Anchor/Reporter

Cheri Hardmon anchors ABC12 News on weekend evenings and works as a reporter on weekdays

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