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Chicago-Area Police Training Unit Closing Because of State Budget Issues

October 06, 2015  | 

The possible closure of the key police training facility in the Chicago region would leave departments across DuPage, Kendall and Kane counties struggling to find new ways of providing necessary training to their officers.

North East Multi-Regional Training will be forced to close mid-November if the state doesn't pay its share of the costs, Philip Brankin, the unit's executive director, told the Chicago Tribune. The state-funded agency is responsible for training law enforcement personnel across 321 police agencies in the greater Chicago area.

The unit will have to close if it doesn't receive its third-quarter payment from the state, which doesn't look likely, Brankin said. He is still waiting on July's first-quarter payment and October's second-quarter payment. He predicts the closure will be temporary, lasting only until the budget stalemate ends. The training unit has 15 full-time unit employees, including Brankin.

"This is a time when the training of police officers may be more important than ever," he said. "The importance of training and the expectations for law enforcement is something of a concern right now, definitely."

About 100 classes were canceled for September and October due to lack of funding. These classes, some of which specialize in dealing with the mentally ill, proper use of force, and sex crime investigations, are crucial for in-service police officers during a time of heightened tension between police and the communities they serve, Brankin said.

Last year, a total of 151 officers attended 106 different training classes offered through the training unit. Thomas said he can seek outside agencies to provide similar training, but not without paying a hefty sum.

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