Erath County Sheriff Matt Coates had exciting news for commissioners on Wednesday: The sheriff's office is now an official TCOLE training site.

“We can do a lot of our own training here now and do all of the reporting from our building,” Coates told commissioners.

The sheriff’s office applied to TCOLE for the designation which requires certain standards for a location to become a training site.

“They review where our agency is located and they look at other training providers in the state to see if there’s even a need in our area,” Captain Jeremy Woodruff said. “Once they assess whether there is or not, and in our case there was, they meet with us and look at our facility to see if we have room to house a training area like this.

"Once they’ve done that, the state legislature has mandated rules that TCOLE is responsible for supervising and we have to adhere to those rules.”

TCOLE sent a representative to the sheriff’s office who met with Coates, Woodruff and Chief Deputy Cody Keith and went over the guidelines to ensure the office had adequate instructors.

Once that was finished, Coates and Woodruff went to TCOLE’s headquarters in Austin on Feb. 26 to sign a contract.

“The Dublin Police Department that has limited funds for training will now be able to teach classes at a reduced rate and be able to get their mandated training here as well, which will benefit other smaller agencies that have a limited budget, resources and manpower," Woodruff said.

The sheriff's office will also open up the possibility of teaching classes to Stephenville as well.

“We are extremely excited,” Coates said. “Chief Deputy Keith and Captain Woodruff worked really hard to get us here. This has been a very long process. Captain Woodruff is going to be the training coordinator [and] I have 110 percent faith that we’re not going to have any issues.”