U of I’s Police Training Institute To Stay Open In 2018

An dueince applauds the graduating class at the graduation ceremony for the University of Illinois Police Training Institute.

Police Training Institute graduates stand and face an applauding audience at the end of a graduation ceremony Thursday at the Vineyard Church in Urbana. On stage, PTI Director Michael Schlosser and State Sen. Scott Bennett look on.

Jim Meadows/Illinois Public Media

The University of Illinois Police Training Institute graduated what some thought would be its final class Thursday in Urbana. But the institute’s director had some news for the 82 graduates and their friends and family members.

"The University of Illinois Police Training Insttute will continue to train recruits from around the state in the future", said director Michael Schlosser, to applause from those gathered for the ceremony at the Vineyard Church.

On Wednesday, officials with the university signed an agreement with the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, which accredits police training programs in the state.

The Macon County Law Enforcement Training Center, a new police training center that opened last month in Decatur, The new training center is owned by the state Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, and operated by Richland Community College. And it had been expected by many to replace the Police Training Institute, due its proximity to Champaign-Urbana, and because University of Illinois officials had expressed doubts in recent years about continuing their own program.

But an increased demand for police training classes statewide convinced the university and state officials that the U of I facility is still needed.

"There’s a big demand right now for recruit spots", said Schlosser. "The hiring is really up in the state of Illinois. And there’s enough recruits to probably fills every academy in the state. There were six, and now there’s seven, with the new one being built in Decatur.

In addition, state Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) says the Police Training Institute offers a unique approach.

“Since PTI here in Champaign-Urbana is the only one that uses actors, and does the scenario-based training that they do, it’s pretty much recognized by all chiefs as the best academy in the state", said Bennett, who delivered the graduation ceremony's keynote address.

PTI director Michael Schlosser says a new batch of about 70 recruits will begin classes at the Police Training Institute in January.

Story source: WILL