The state of Illinois has been dealing with a financial crisis for the past four months, with lawmakers gridlocked on passing a new state budget. So far, many state agencies and non-profits that rely on funding from the state have been unaffected and are still receiving those funds. However, there are programs which are beginning to feel the sting of the budget impasse, which could eventually trickle down and affect the general public.
One of the areas that are feeling the brunt of lawmakers’ inability to pass a new budget is law enforcement training. A recent statement by the director of Southern Illinois Criminal Justice Training announced the cancellation of approximately half of the certification courses which police academy graduates attend. After November 1st, these classes will be on hold until further notice.
The Southern Illinois Criminal Justice Training unit provides training to over 1,500 officers in 27 Illinois counties. Funding for these classes come from court fees and traffic fines which are collected by the state. However, due to the budget crisis, these funds have been frozen, leaving the training center without the ability to fund classes to train new officers.
Classes which will be put on hold include those that teach officers how to interact with the public, including what signs to look for which could indicate that a person is mentally ill or not on proper medication. This lack of training leaves not only the officer at risk, but also the general public.
Other classes scheduled to be put on hold provide training on standardized field sobriety testing and breath alcohol testing. According to the school’s director, although an officer who has graduated from the academy is certified to arrest someone they suspect is driving under the influence of alcohol, without these certification classes, the officer’s testimony in court would not be valid. This could become a serious issue for small departments, where a newly-graduated, recently-hired police officer is the only officer on duty.
If you have been arrested for drunk driving, or any other criminal defense, it is important to contact an experienced Arlington Heights defense attorney right away. There are many issues which can put to question the validity of the evidence that the prosecution is using against you. Call Attorney Scott F. Anderson at 847-253-3400 to schedule a free initial consultation today.
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