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Published: Wednesday, 11/16/2005

Hillsdale County, Williams County sheriffs OK mutual aid

Williams County and Hillsdale County sheriffs have signed what are thought to be the first written mutual aid agreements between the two offices in bordering counties along the Ohio-Michigan line.

Although the sheriffs have called on each other for help before, they had not shared a list of their specially trained personnel and equipment so that each knew what the other could provide in an emergency.

Hillsdale County, for instance, has a mobile command center and an emergency response team van stocked with night vision equipment and tools for use in a hostage situation.

Williams County does not have either of those.

"It could be something we never use, and it could be something we use in the next 10 minutes," Williams County Chief Deputy Jim Snively said.

Like most mutual aid agreements, this one does not call for the sheriffs to pay each other for any assistance used during emergencies.

The two departments have a similar number of deputies on the road.

Hillsdale County employs 43 people, including those assigned to its jail.

Williams County, which does not operate a jail, employs 27.

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