Illinois Budget Battle Means Police Training Put on Hold

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Monday was the 90th day Illinois has gone without a budget. It’s starting to affect law enforcement. Police departments around the state say training courses are on hold.

Those training courses range from dealing with mental illness to using proper force. The mobile team units have had to cancel some classes. Police say less training could put your safety at risk.

“Should the public be worried about this? I would think the public should be concerned.”

Hundreds of police training classes are being canceled after lawmakers approved a bill requiring additional law enforcement raining.

“It’s valuable for officers to be updated on time-sensitive training stuff that we need certain classes. We have even requested to have classes brought in.”

The Mobile Team Unit travels the state providing officers training on what can help them the most.

“Everything from field training officers to crisis intervention training to hostage negotiations, legal updates, it’s a variety.”

More than 190 communities in the state rely on these training services for their officers. Chief Winslow says, without the training, officers could be at risk.

“It’s outside training that we can afford to bring in that comes through the mobile training units and those classes are very valuable.”

Valuable, but costly to the state which has yet to get a budget deal done. Executive director of the Association of Chiefs of Police says the money is there to keep the classes up-and-running, but it’s on hold without a budget agreement.

“And so the money is being collected. It’s not being distributed to the training units.”

In 2014, the state-funded Training and Standards Board provided training to more than 57,000 officers. Winslow says he hopes a compromised is reached soon to keep providing training to those who need it.

“It’s again, a vital piece of training that we need to keep in place and hopefully the legislators can find some funding or release the funds to allow us to continue down that road.”

Last week, lawmakers did not have enough votes to pass a bill which would fully fund the training.

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