Illinois police training centers are struggling to stay open after reforms to traffic fines and fees took a major bite out of their only revenue stream.
State Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) is a chief co-sponsor of an emergency bill to deposit $5 million into that pot of money. Koehler said he supports the criminal justice reforms, but recognizes the need to fix the funding mechanism to keep the training centers open.
"In some cases, you have some people who can't get their case cleared because they still owe the fine. They can't get their drivers' license. They can't get to work. That's what we're trying to do, is prevent those kind of things from happening," Koehler said. "So that does take money out of the system. So we need to replace that with general revenue funding."
The Central Illinois Police Training Center at the Illinois Central College Peoria campus only has enough funds to remain open until June. The center offers state-mandated training for officers in Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford counties.
Koehler said the fix going forward is to make a general revenue funding stream to police training centers permanent to make up for the lost fine revenues.