JASPER COUNTY, Ill. (WTHI) - The Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board helps to fund training for agencies across the state. They do this by setting up mobile training units that teach officers.
Jasper County sheriff Brandon Francis explains, "The training costs is partially funded by the state and we pay a membership and we can attend classes for free. As long as we pay our membership."
The board is completely funded by traffic fines. Recent changes in state law have put the training and standards board five million dollars in the hole. Meaning agencies like the Jasper County Sheriff's Office will have to start picking up the tab.
Francis says, "The bulk of our training is from MTU classes. Once an individual is a police officer, has been to their initial training, all additional training after that comes from our mobile training units."
The shortfall may cause some of those training units to close. Meaning officers traveling further distances for the mandated courses.
Francis says, "You're probably looking at lodging if it's more then a one day course. So more expense to the county, more expense for the training, more expense for fuel, lodging, all that."
There have been 11 requirements added to training since 2016. All state-mandated. Now all funded by agencies like the Jasper County Sheriff's Office.
Francis says, "It's very difficult that its mandated training but now there are very few places to take it, or it's up to you to find your own place to take a course. Which might be a four or five-hour drive away....very difficult."