DuPage Co. (ECWd) -
For the first time in the history of COD, the SLEA Director has been approved by the ILETSB.
We first reported on the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy at the College of Dupage (COD) as it related to issuing credit hours to academy cadets two years ago. That issue later became the primary focus of the Higher Learning Commission who later placed COD on Probation as it relates to their accreditation. Our reporting on HLC's findings can be found here.
Our question for over a year has been, who is in charge and have they been approved. As in, who is the Director of SLEA and have they ever been approved as required by law? We were unable to get any such approval records from COD even though they had just recently hired a new Director. Initially, the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (ILETSB) was also unable to produce any such approvals, even though they are the agency tasked with the obligation of approving all the Directors in our State's Police Academies. What was most disturbing was the fact the ILETSB had never approved any Directors and they informed us "we have never done that".
After writing numerous articles about the ILETSB's failure in performing their obligations, we once again asked for approval records for the newly hired COD SLEA Director.
Clearly, our FOIA, that pointed to the appropriate Administrative Code, is what forced the ILETSB Executive Director to comply with the law. This is yet another example of how the Freedom of Information Act is a law that is not just about getting copies of records but can trigger a government agency to do the job they are paid to do. By asking for records that pertain to a public body's obligations, it brings their statutory obligations to the forefront.
Our first example of this fact was exposed in this article in which our FOIA triggered the same agency, ILETSB, to fulfill their obligations as it related to County Sheriff's training obligations.
We are pleased to see that the ILETSB finally performed their obligations and provided the mandated approval for the newly hired COD SLEA Director Raymon Cordell.
We have asked for the same approvals for all other Police Academy Directors and hope that those approvals have finally been taken care of. If they have not, it's time for resignations at that agency.