Police departments across Illinois say the state budget stalemate has left them struggling to provide necessary training to officers on everything from how to deal with the mentally ill to proper use of force.

Hundreds of classes are being canceled at a time of heightened tension between police and the communities they serve, and as officers are increasingly the first to respond when a person with a mental illness is in crisis, law enforcement officials say.

It's also happening just months after lawmakers approved a bill requiring additional law enforcement training — part of a response to fatal police encounters in cities such as Ferguson, Missouri, New York City and Baltimore, the Chicago Tribune reports.

"The situation is becoming desperate," said Eric Pingolt, who coordinates training in 11 counties for the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board.

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