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State Bill Would Cut 65 Percent From Police Training Programs

A police gun and handcuffs.  [Generic] (credit: Steve Hardy/CBS Local)

A police gun and handcuffs. [Generic] (credit: Steve Hardy/CBS Local)

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JOLIET, Ill. (CBS) — With state lawmakers in cost-cutting mode, police departments across the state could feel the effects.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Waelti reports, a House of Representatives bill under consideration would cut 65 percent of the funding for regional police training programs across the state.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Waelti reports

Some departments believe that would effectively end police training programs in their regions, especially in less-populated areas.

The training programs in question are not all elective. Many are required for officers.

Among the programs that would be affected are those in the Tri-River Police Training Region, which covers Will, Grundy and Kankakee counties.

Tri-River holds training sessions for everything from how to give a Breathalyzer test to leading a homicide investigation.

Forty-three local police departments are in the Tri-River program and there are 16 different training regions across the state.

Police say losing funding for that training would be devastating.

Cutting 65 percent of the total funding for the 16 different training regions would essentially finish most of them, including Tri-River, program directors say.

The proposed state bill would also give another $6 million to state police from the state’s Traffic and Conviction Fund even though state police already receive $5 million from that fund.

The bill, HB 6122, has been assigned to the House Appropriations Committee, but no action has been taken for several months.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.