MTU funding crisis continues; here is what you can do

January 30, 2020

From Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police
Contact Executive Director Ed Wojcicki at [email protected] 

The crisis continues for MTUs, ILETSB, and the academies.

Our call to action now is to tell state legislators about the need for supplemental funding for ILETSB (commonly called the Training Board.)

We are in close conversation with ILETSB and the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association about this issue. ILACP advises notifying your legislators now with the following message and any specific information from your own agency. We especially want legislators to know the first two bullet points.

  • A crisis in funding has blown up quickly in Illinois for law enforcement training.
  • To solve the funding crisis, law enforcement united is seeking emergency funding in a supplemental appropriation for the Training Board as soon as possible. Let your representative and senator know that law enforcement needs this supplemental funding. (Details about when it will be introduced and how much is needed are still being negotiated.)
  • The major cause of the decline in funding is a sudden drop in revenue from the Illinois Traffic & Criminal Conviction Surcharge Fund (TACCSF) – traffic ticket fines -- which is the sole source of law enforcement training in Illinois.

    Under the revised fine structure that went into effect in July 2019, ILETSB’s sole source of revenue is down 16%, and the gap appears to be widening, as the last two monthly contributions were down 36% and 56% from the prior year’s figures.
  • There are 16 Mobile Training Units (regional training centers) that provide much of the training for officers in every sheriff’s department and municipal police department.
    • These MTUs are already cancelling classes now because they do not have the funding to provide them. Corrections, Dispatchers, Parole Agents, Troopers, Deputies and Municipal Officers have begun to feel the impact of the canceled classes.
    • Some MTUs are laying off staff and/or going on furlough, reducing the training available statewide.
    • They have also been advised to prepare a plan for closing their doors. We hope it does not come to this!
  • In any event, some mandated training likely will not be available to officers. In recent years, new laws have required more mandated training, and it makes no sense to reduce funding for training at the same time more training is required.
  • New officers must attend training at a police academy, but ILETSB no longer has money to provide local agencies with the basic academy training, which costs about $6,000 per new officer. The loss of funds forces local agencies to find the money or not hire new officers. “Finding the money” will mean not having money for other training.