PTI Advisory Board Meeting September 24, 2009 Jim Gould Restaurant, Champaign Attending:
Sheriff John Thompson, Bureau County Sheriff's Office Sheriff David Osmer, Cass County Sheriff's Office Sheriff John Monnet, Effingham County Sheriff's Office Deputy Chief Jeff Christensen, University of Illinois Police Department (in place of Chief O’Connor) Chief David Baer, Bradley University Police Department Chief R.T. Finney, Champaign Police Department Chief Nick Graff, Morton Police Department Chief Pat Carey, Libertyville Police Department Sheriff Gilbert Cady, President, Illinois Sheriff's Association Chief Eric Smith, President Illinois Chief’s Association Commissioner Janelle Crowley, Illinois Fire and Police Commissioners Assoc. Director Mike Norrington, MTU 15 Director Bill Strayer, Sangamon County Basic Correctional Academy Director Kris Fitzpatrick Police Training Specialist Tom Gibbons Associate Director Cora Beem Police Training Specialist Mike Metzler Associate Director Mike Miller Police Training Specialist Ken Zimny Associate Director Catherine Somers Police Training Specialist Doug Needham Registrar Chaley Hausle Basic Course Supervisor Chuck Deakin Basic Course Secretary Melissa Zindars Assistant to the Director Leana Coffey Absent: Sheriff Michael McCoy, Peoria County Sheriff’s Office Director Beth Pinter, MTU 5 Chief Jody O’Guinn, Carbondale Police Department Minutes: Leana Coffey
Welcome and Introduction - Director Fitzpatrick opened the meeting with introductions of advisory board members and PTI staff. Topics of Discussion as Suggested by Board Members: Use of Force – Chief Christensen inquired about the Use of Force Continuum and if the curriculum should be updated. Associate Director Miller explained that we are required to teach the SPOs in the ILETSB curriculum, which includes the five levels of resistance. We also teach that officers do not need to go up each step in the continuum. Chief Christensen noted that many agencies are moving away from the “Use of Force Continuum” and towards the “Standard of Reasonableness” – verbal compliance, non-lethal, and deadly force. Members stated the IACP and FBI Academy are among those who are moving towards the Standard of Reasonableness and agencies need to look at what motivates us to change, not just liability. Chief Graff noted that based upon officer involved issues, many officers are under-reacting and could use more force than they do. When asked by AD Miller if recruit officers returning from PTI were under-reacting, members did not notice any issues. Tom Gibbons noted the training recruits receive at PTI is based on reasonableness. Doug Needham encouraged agencies to look at their policies and procedures to see what they contain. Janelle Crowley, certified assessor for CALEA, said CALEA identifies policies agencies must have but does not write/require specific language.
Cultural Diversity – Cora Beem addressed the question of what training is being provided to recruits on the topic of Cultural Diversity. Cultural Diversity is not a separate block in the TB curriculum - it is included in the Police-Citizen Relations block. That block is also one of the six component areas PTI revamped when we implemented the Enhanced Law Enforcement Response to Victims curriculum. Currently, PTI addresses cultural diversity (age, race, gender, religion, orientation, disability) and cultural competency in multiple blocks thorough the BLE. We begin with the Problem-Oriented Policing block in Week 1 and end with the Preparation for Patrol block in Week 12. Cultural issues are addressed not only in instructional blocks but in scenario training as well. Mandatory Firearms Training – The question was asked how and when the mandatory firearms training in BLE will be updated. Mike Metzler explained that we are required to teach the 40-hour firearms training as mandated by ILETSB. We provide 50 hours of training which covers all required SPOs as well as cover & utilization training and a one hour orientation of the patrol rifle. Advisory board members agreed that the mandatory firearms training curriculum and exam needed to be updated. Director Fitzpatrick stated that PTI would be willing to assist. A specific change that needs to be looked at is replacing shotgun with patrol rifle. Although the shotgun is still a good weapon, many agencies are moving toward the patrol rifle. Mike Norrington from MTU 15 noted that with 163 agencies in his MTU, over 100 of them have rifles in their cars. When asked if they would be disappointed if shotgun training was removed from BLE, the general consensus was that both shotgun and patrol rifle training needed to remain in the curriculum. Chief Smith noted many rural agencies still use shotguns. Recruit Housing - Due to housing contracts PTI entered into over a year ago when enrollments were much higher, we are faced with a substantial deficit. We currently have contracted 122 beds and are only using 48 of those with the remainder of them being empty. ILETSB has agreed to assist with housing costs for one year. It was noted that the ISP Academy receives funds directly from the Traffic and Criminal Conviction Surcharge Fund which covers housing costs for BLE recruits. A possible solution would be for ILETSB to consider a similar model for PTI. Agencies would then pay the same tuition at PTI as they do at the ISP academy. Other alternatives to assist with housing costs were discussed: o Director Fitzpatrick asked board members how they felt about PTI being a commuter academy instead of residential. Agencies would be responsible for housing recruits in hotels. The general consensus was that if agencies had to pay a course fee and housing fee separately, the cost would be much greater than they pay now as well as higher than other academies. Agencies would be forced to go to other academies to save money. Although it could be reimbursable from ILETSB, agencies look at the initial cost since that comes out of their budgets, but the reimbursement goes into a general fund and not back to the agencies themselves.
o Another option PTI is researching is to house recruits at apartments 2 ½ miles off campus. This may create overtime issues with extra travel time, etc. Busing officers to training locations was suggested to give more control and timeliness and will be researched by PTI. o Director Fitzpatrick noted that in the past (1960’s), PTI conducted BLEs in remote locations across the state. The cost of housing recruits in hotels was an issue and BLE courses were only four weeks long. The practice of putting on academies at remote sites was discontinued after the minimum training hours were increased. The high cost of recruit housing is something PTI needs a solution for long-term and will continue to be evaluated. H1N1 Vaccinations Prior to Attending PTI – Cora Beem reviewed PTI’s policy of handling contagious diseases contracted by recruit officers. We encourage recruit officers to receive flu and H1N1 shots prior to attending PTI and to bring basic cold/flu medication with them. Basic preventative techniques are discussed at orientation. If a recruit officer has symptoms of a contagious disease with a fever, he/she will be isolated in a vacant apartment until the fever has subsided for at least 24 hours. We will arrange for meals and also videotape classroom instruction for them to watch so they will not miss those class hours. They cannot participate in scenario, physical skills, or firearms while possibly contagious. Recruit officers are unable to miss more than 48 hours of instruction. Verbal Judo – PTI uses the copy-righted “Verbal Judo” training to satisfy the “Communication in the Police Environment” section of the curriculum. The cost of books, certification and recertification of instructors can be quite costly. Instructors are currently certified for the next two years, so the cost has stabilized for now since all the books have already been purchased. We may need to look at other options including possibly using university resources to assist in creating our own outline (using SPOs) in the future and move away from the “Verbal Judo” instruction. Enhanced Law Enforcement Response to Victims – Over two years ago, PTI was approached by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and asked to participate in a pilot program, Enhanced Law Enforcement Response to Victims. Mundelein Police Department is the pilot agency which implemented this program and recommended PTI to be the first academy in the nation to teach it at the recruit level. We found many of the techniques were consistent with what we were already teaching and with a few adjustments in our training, were able to seamlessly implement the program without adding any extra hours. Cora Beem and Tom Gibbons will be attending the IACP conference in Denver, CO in October to assist with presenting this to attendees. Control Tactics Program – Mike Miller reviewed changes to the Control Tactics training in BLE. To reduce costs and reduce injuries, we modified the combat day in red-man suits and reduced the number of instructors used. Training is now held using recruit-on-recruit with the level of resistance closely monitored. Recruits are
basically worked to exhaustion so they can see that they can still function and make decisions through their exhaustion. Patrol Rifle Training – PTI has added an optional Basic Patrol Rifle class for recruit officers while attending the academy. Mike Metzler explained that approximately 2040% of BLE officers are normally enrolled in the 18 hour class. This class was originally certified for 24 hours. PTI will request re-certification of this course for 18 hours at the December, 2009 ILETSB meeting. Recruit officers stay late on a Friday night and all day Saturday for the class. PTI has 25 9mm carbine rifles for the course including a combination of Bushmasters and Colts. Distance Learning – Discussion was held regarding implementing distance learning into the BLE program. If recruits could complete prep work before arriving at the academy, more information could be learned in the same amount of time. Larry Hoover of Justex did a study to incorporate distance learning into the basic academy. Chief Smith noted that many agencies do not have computers for officers to use to complete online training. Chief Graff said ILETSB has considered requiring 80 hours of pre-certification and decided this would not be easy to do. Consistency in completion of training and hiring limitations were among some of the objections. It was suggested that if agencies were able to hire 1-2 weeks before the academy, this orientation period could include reading required material, as well as working on report writing and getting familiar with each area of the agency. This topic will continue to be discussed at a later date. Janelle Crowley advised as HR Manager for Woodstock, their process is to not put personnel on the payroll until immediately before a BLE begins. Sheriff Osmer advised he cannot hire a new employee until there is an opening (example – his retirement date is 12/31. The county will not allow him to hire a new deputy until after that date). This practice would have an impact on any pre-BLE distance learning requirement.
Questions/Announcements from Board Members: ILEAS – Director Fitzpatrick was asked what kind of impact ILEAS has made on PTI. She responded by saying that PTI considered using part of the ILEAS building for control tactics and other training to reduce costs, but decided that the facility did not meet our needs. PTI has partnered with ILEAS to co-host a Pursuit Policy workshop in November and looks for other opportunities to partner with them. 13th Week in BLE – At the last Advisory Board meeting, we were asked to consider adding an extra week to the BLE program for optional courses to reduce overtime incurred by recruits completing these courses in the evenings during the 12 week BLE. Current budgetary issues for PTI and client agencies have caused this consideration to be set aside at this time. BCO to BLE Certification – Sheriff Thompson asked if we’ve heard if progress has been made towards transition certification from BCO to BLE. Catherine Somers
responded that ILETSB piloted a program with Cook County which was 13 weeks long. This is still a pilot program and they are collecting data. EVOC Training – Chief Baer asked if we would consider having a full EVOC class. Director Fitzpatrick responded that PTI does not have a facility to have the EVOC class and that the current area used lacks a proper road course and has not been maintained. The vehicles used tend to receive a lot of mechanical punishment which could incur a host of service and maintenance concerns. The cost of the current class is around $2000 per day. NIMS – Chief Smith asked if we currently provide NIMS training to recruit officers. Recruits complete 100LE, 200, and 700 based on agency request. This is all completed by computer based training during recruits’ off time and takes approximately 2 ½ - 3 hours to complete. Law Enforcement Training on MDCs – Sheriff Cady announced as the President of IL Public Safety Network that they will soon have law enforcement training available for officers to complete in their squad cars on their MDCs. ILETSB Meetings - Chief Graff is a member of ILETSB as a police chief. As such, he asks chiefs and sheriffs to feel free to contact him if there is an issue ILETSB will be dealing with that interests or concerns them.