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June 25, 2024

ILETSB – Police Academy Directors properly approved, or rubber stamped?

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On March 14, 2017

Illinois (ECWd) –

January of this year we exposed the failures of the ILETSB as it relates to the performance of their mandated duties of approving the Directors of our state’s Police Academies.

We also reported in January in this article the following:

Friday the 13th, 2017, the US Department of Justice released a scathing report that should alarm every Illinois resident and taxpayer.   The report was on the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and can be viewed here. Although the Chicago Police Department was the primary target of USDOJ’s stinging criticism,  the State of Illinois shares much of the blame, and in particular the pathetic work of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (ILETSB), the official state agency that is charged with certifying and  monitoring all law enforcement training academies in the State of Illinois, including CPD’s training facility.

Today I received the response to yet another FOIA request for approvals of our Police Academy Directors and the results, on one hand are appreciated, yet on the other appear to still point to a feckless operation known as the ILSETB.

As can be seen below, we now have every Police Academy Director in the state of Illinois approved by the ILETSB Executive Director.  I now call for the termination of Bent Fischer as the Executive Director of the ILETSB.  Some will find this harsh since he has finally done his job, however, the devil’s in the details.

What did the USDOJ say about the Chicago PD?

The USDOJ Report noted that CPD uses a 35-year-old videotape (see page 98), to train new recruits on the use of lethal/deadly force.   According to the USDOJ, this videotape contained outdated standards and conditions for when police officers can justifiably use lethal force.  The USDOJ report noted that key aspects of the 35-year-old CPD training tape are unlawful and were overruled by the US Supreme Court.  Sadly, the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board was asleep at the switch; they failed to stop the CPD from using this outdated video that taught unconstitutional methods on the use of lethal and deadly force. Sadly, Illinois citizens were then shot and killed by CPD police officers because the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board failed to do its job.  In this regard, this state board failed to protect the public and the citizens of Chicago.

The USDOJ further observed that only 1 out of 6 CPD police recruits could properly articulate the correct legal standard for when lethal/deadly force can be used.  Shockingly, this means that 5 out of 6  (or 83.3%) of CPD cadets got that life and death question wrong.  Think about that statistic–83.3% of CPD cadets don’t know that law when it comes to the use of lethal force.  That is a chilling and truly scary statistic.

USDOJ investigators also found current CPD law enforcement cadets were asleep in class when the topic of the proper use of lethal force was addressed in the classroom.

So what does all that have to do with the ILETSB and their approval of our Police Acadamy Directors?

How can a Director of Training that was responsible for training in the Chicago Police Department since October of 2013 be approved in light of the US Department of Justice findings?

All indications, based on the dates of the letters and the dates on the first paragraphs of those letters, point to nothing more than a rubber stamping of their approval after being exposed for not doing their job.

Police Academy Director appointments by date:

  • Southwestern Illinois College Police Academy appointed Director in 2007
  • University of Illinois Police Training Institute appointed Director in 2013
  • Chicago Police Department Education & Training Director appointed Director in 2013
  • St. Clair County Sheriffs Department Corrections Academy appointed Director in 2015
  • Cook County Sheriffs Bureau of Training & Education appointed Director in 2015
  • Illinois State Police Academy appointed Director in February of 2016
  • Suburban Law Enforcement Academy Director Appointed February of 2017

The ILETSB has failed to do their job of ensuring their Executive Directors did theirs. The record shows this agency has never approved Directors of Police Academies in the past and have now rubber-stamped all of them on the same day, March 3rd, 2017, which is as much as ten years past due based on dates contained in the letters below.

Only in Illinois would a state agency approve a Police Academy Director who was on the receiving end of a scathing USDOJ report exposing massive failures.

Who is running this asylum?

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1 Comment
  • G.Barraclough
    Posted at 12:43h, 14 March Reply

    As a matter of staying alive, these facts dictate thinking about staying out of Chicago in the short and mid term. For business. Dining out. Recreation. Any reason. At least until the mayor and police superintendent can field police officers who know, can articulate and obey the law. 100%. Of course it also speaks to the issue of police recruit selection.

    Does it make sense to take a chance on an encounter with one, or more, of those “83% police cadets” who do not know what the law on justifiable use of deadly force is. Would a Chicago police officer, who was not allowed to carry his/her gun, concealed, 24 hours a day, want to roam around Chicago?

    What about the statistics at the other police training academies in Illinois? What are their percentages of police cadets who can correctly answer questions on justifiable use of deadly force contained in the ILCS and case law?

    Probably a good idea to just stay out of Illinois. And many people in the last few years have decided just that by leaving. Permanently. Very sad for this once great state.

    The headlines and stories of the last 10 years in the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times are very instructive and pretty much confirm the above observations.

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