The NICJC was established in the 1970’s and has operated a training program for local law enforcement personnel since that time. This training program later became a full-time project with funding from the Illinois Law Enforcement Commission.
In 1983 the N.I.C.J.C. became funded by the State of Illinois through the creation of “A Statewide System of In-Service Training (A.S.S.I.S.T.) program and the Traffic Criminal Conviction Surcharge Fund (TCCSF). The TCCSF receives the court fines assessed during a traffic or criminal conviction per a designed fine schedule set up at the time.
As part of the A.S.S.I.S.T. Program, the N.I.C.J.C. is also known as Mobile Team Unit #1 (MTU1) with the Illinois Law Enforcement Training & Standards Board (ILETSB).
In short, the designers created a system to fund law enforcement training via the people “using” the criminal justice system, rather than by the general revenue fund. This new method, combined with a local matching grant from member dues, eliminated the need for training units to spend all of their time searching for funding, instead of developing professional training programs.
The A.S.S.I.S.T. system has been paying for thousands of hours of law enforcement training per year at a very low agency cost per training hour. The MTU figuratively becomes a training officer for member agencies by fulfilling the planning, research, scheduling and tracking functions every agency needs to comply with state mandated training requirements and a plethora of other topics.
The objectives of the regional in-service training program are to:
- Provide sufficient courses to meet the state mandated trainings and other training needs of each county sheriff’s department or local police department
- Encourage full-time and certified part-time police officers, correctional officers to upgrade their knowledge and skills
- Assist with policy and procedure information
- Schedule quality training programs at convenient locations for all officer participation
- Encourage Advisory Board members to provide training input and encourage their subordinates to attend the quality training provided
The ILETSB controls funding for the training units via yearly grants derived from combining the Traffic Criminal Surcharge Conviction Fund (TCSCF) grant monies and local membership fees received from participating law enforcement agencies in a designated region.
In order to receive the state funding (grant) an MTU must meet the training needs to the point that agencies become members. This allows the MTU to possess the local matching funds to use as a certain percentage of its budget.
To meet grant requirements, the MTU must accomplish a certain level of actual attendance, which is measured by what is called “soft match”. Soft match is theoretical number achieved by multiplying the number of hours in a class, by the hourly rate of how many attend a class. This measurement shows the MTU is presenting the relevant training for the grant funded year.
In exchange for the membership fees, an agency receives unlimited training. Until recent years (FY20) it meant cost free training. In the past few years costs have risen, and agencies are asked to pay a member fee for classes costing four hundred dollars or more, per officer. Even with this fee, the value for membership is pennies of investment compared to the “dollars” in return of training value and liability protection, for the agency and its parent governmental entity.
For example, one-member agency in the six-county region has thirty officers. In FY19 that agency training cost per hour totaled $1.60 per training hour. This per hour cost could actually be lower because dispatchers & office staff may attend some trainings and they are not included in the membership fee calculations.
MTU1 serves six counties- Carroll, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson and Whiteside. The advisory board for the commission is made up of five representatives from each county. The includes the Sheriff, Chief of Police for largest city, Mayor designee of largest city, County Board Chairman designee and an At-Large.
In northern Illinois, MTU1, MTU2 (Rockford), MTU4 (Princeton) & MTU5 (E. Moline) have a track record of cooperation and by working together the ever shrinking training dollars stretch further, allowing for additional training opportunities.
The office can be reached at 815-288-6695 or via contact us.