Cook Co. (ECWd) -
We have been diving into the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board ("ILETSB") for several months, and it seems each time we dig more concerns rise to the top. We exposed key members of the board have failed to attend a single meeting in three years in this article.
Fives days after that exposure, the Chicago Tribune ran this opinion piece with comments from former Chicago Police Department Superintendent Garry McCarthy. One comment, in particular, got our attention.
"But if you say that the training is inadequate, then you've got to say that the standards of the Illinois State Training Commission are inadequate."
I find it interesting, to say the least, that he points to the ILETSB as it relates to training. Interesting because he and other key board members of that agency have not attended a single regular board meeting in three years. Why point to an agency and blame potential training deficiencies on them when you are the one responsible for such training controls? Anyone have a mirror? All that aside, I do agree that he points to the correct agency when it comes to training adequacy.
We are not in a position to question whether the CPD training is adequate or not. However, we do find a serious problem with legislation as it relates to the Chicago Police Chief, Cook County Sheriff, and their Chief Deputies. Most would agree leadership is key and we want our leaders subject to the same training as other departments in the state. Uniformity in training is instrumental when dealing with multiple departments in a geographical area. Having them all on the same page can be critical.
50 ILCS 705/10.7 - Mandatory Training: Police Chief and Deputy Police Chief. Each police chief and deputy police chief shall obtain at least 20 hours of training each year.
That statute starts out pretty strong. Points out those officers SHALL obtain 20 hours of training each year. Sadly, you keep reading and we find that the statute cited may possibly be part of the problems we see in Cook County and Chicago as it relates to police operations.
"This Section does not apply to the City of Chicago or the Sheriff's Police Department in Cook County. "
So the Chief of CPD, Sheriff of Cook County, and their Chief Deputies are not required to comply with the mandatory 20-hour minimum annual training that every other Chief and Deputy Chief in the state must comply with? How special is that?
Looking at the Rules and Regulations of the Chicago Police Department we must admit to being shocked. How many times do you think the word "training" can be found in 22 pages of Rules and Regulations?
And neither time refers to any training for the Chief or his Chief Deputy. (See Page 2 and page 6)
We could not locate any training mandates for the Cook County Sheriff or his Chief Deputy in the Employment Action Manual or any reference to mandatory training in the glossary of that manual, nor in the policy manual.
It would be interesting to get someone on the record as to why those top law enforcement entities are exempted from mandatory training.
So there is no confusion on our position on this matter, we are not implying that those Chief positions are held by people that are not qualified or trained. We are simply questioning as to why they are allowed to be exempted from mandatory training that every other Chief and Chief Deputy in the state must comply with.
Can anyone say that such an exemption makes any sense? If they are not getting the mandatory annual training the other Chiefs are getting we can only wonder if that is a contributing factor to the problems the nation is seeing in Chicago.
This article is not intended in any fashion to be an attack on our officers in blue but rather a wake-up call to the legislature as it relates to special carve outs for Chicago and Cook County and the potential problems such carve may bring to the table.
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