The Police Department is committed to having a highly trained police force and accomplishes this through several strategies. First, the Police Department utilizes personnel to serve as in-house instructors after having successfully completed instructor courses. Instructors have been selected to teach a variety of core topics required by state mandate or which are essential to basic police functions. The Police Department currently retains instructors certified in firearms instruction, control devices, Taser, emergency vehicle operation, use of force, and various other topics. In 2019 the Police Department had 2 personnel certified in Active Threat Response Instruction.
In-house instructors generally teach curriculum during in-service training days. The Police Department held six 8-hour in-service training days in 2019 for all sworn personnel covering active threat response, CPR and AED use, HAZMAT and blood borne pathogens, physical fitness, control device and use of force topics, juvenile justice issues, and other topics. An outdoor range day for rifle, handgun and less-lethal training and use of force decision-making was also held. Bi-monthly firearms training was also conducted in-house through use of the Police Department range. Additionally, with new Illinois legislation legalizing recreational cannabis under certain conditions going into effect on January 1, 2020, in-house training in early 2020 focused on an overview of enforcement of the new legislation.
Command Staff also regularly conduct “roll call training”, shorter training segments conducted on-duty on a variety of topics where videos, handouts, discussion, demonstration, and debriefing are all used to instruct personnel on a consistent basis. The Department also subscribes to the Police Law Institute, an on-line training service which provides monthly training for police personnel on legal and procedural updates. This training fulfills the requirements of state mandated training. All sworn personnel are required to complete this monthly training.
Select personnel attend a variety of training conferences relevant to their special assignments or position, both in- and out-of-state. Additionally, newly promoted Sergeants attend a 1-week first line supervisor training course and in-house training program, and newly promoted Commanders attend a 10-week law enforcement executive leadership training program. The Police Department also holds a yearly Command Staff Leadership Workshop separately for Commanders and Sergeants where advanced leadership topics are address.
Personnel also receive advanced training through outside Mobile Training Units (MTU) such as the North East Multi-Regional Training Group and the Tri-River Training Group. In 2019, police personnel received almost 2,200 hours of training through MTU’s. The following is a representation of training hours through MTU’s by general topic:
It should be noted that some topics invariably overlap and this graph is an approximation. Also, the previous graph does not demonstrate all of the training received by Police Department personnel; solely that received through Mobile Training Units. It does not reflect in-house training, on-line training, outside conferences, staff and command training, police academy training, or training personnel receive as members of specialty units through their respective teams.
In 2019, additional training focused on officer wellness as the findings of several studies reinforced a need for an increase of this type of education for first responders who endure frequent high-stress incidents. In addition, emergency preparedness training was highlighted to ensure that Police Department personnel are prepared for both natural and man-made emergency situations that may be low-frequency but have a high impact on public safety.
The Police Department continues to seek ways to implement and improve training, and adds curriculum as deemed necessary and as resources allow.