ILLINOIS (WCIA) — The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association and Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police want the General Assembly and Governor JB Pritzker to close a $5 million hole in funding for police training.
Funding for the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (ILETSB) is down 16%. ILETSB provides funding to local police academies and mandated training through its 15 regional mobile training units.
More mandates passed by the General Assembly require additional training by officers, but funding to pay for the training has dropped significantly. The only source of training funding for ILETSB comes from a portion of every traffic ticket.
The funding has fallen due to changing allocations, a possible decrease in citations and 2019 legislation allowing judges to waive fee assessments on traffic convictions. It’s added to a 16% drop for the current fiscal year and the shortfall has accelerated the past two months, down 36 and 56 percents respectively.
Police academies around the state are also not being reimbursed by ILETSB, forcing local municipalities and counties to pay academy costs up front for every recruit; nearly $6,000 per officer. The costs, including training on nearly a dozen new state mandates are draining local budgets which are already burdened with paying for the officers’ salaries and departmental equipment.