From WILL - News Headlines -

Vote to End Police Training at U of I Could Come in May

University of Illinois Trustees are expected to vote as soon as next month to close the Police Training Institute on the Urbana campus.

U of I spokeswoman Robin Kaler confirms that vote could happen at the Trustees' May 31st meeting in Chicago.

She says funding sources have run dry, and legislators have had no success finding a new one.

Illinois House member Chapin Rose of Mahomet, Champaign Democratic Senator Mike Frerichs, and Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing are among those who have been seeking a funding solution to keep PTI open.

Kaler says without the funds, the state's Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board will refuse to certify the courses.

"So without a funding source, or the ability to have our courses certified, it's really appropriate at this point to announce the closure," she said.

But Prussing cites another reason.

"The head (executive director) of the standards board, Kevin McClain, wants to open an academy that he can be in charge of at Western Illinois University," she said. "And Western (its facility) can't open as long as the University of Illinois (PTI) is open because the students will go to the U of I because they like it better and it's much more accessible."

Prussing, a member of the Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, says it makes no sense given Illinois' financial woes and the fact some cities can't afford to hire police officers.

She notes that two recent PTI courses, including one with 55 applicants, were cancelled as part of McClain's efforts to 'undermine' the U of I.

McClain didn't return a phone call seeking comment.