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Arrest Powers - Pre-Academy in IL

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  • Arrest Powers - Pre-Academy in IL

    I had a question that I’ve asked around my station and got multiple answers, so I’m not sure which answer is the correct one.

    Do sworn police officers in Illinois, who have not completed academy, have arrest powers or the authority to write citations etc?

    One of our deputies said, yes, that’s how many of the part timers are able to work solo while in the academy. Another deputy said you don’t have arrest powers or even sign your own tickets until you graduate.

    Can any of you more experienced folks provide some insight?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Uhhhhh. I’ve never heard of this. If you are in the Academy, chances are you have not passed the State Certification Exam and therefore, are not recognized as a Police Officer by the Training and Standards Board. Part Timer’s are able to write and arrest because they are part-time certified and passed the exam already. If they are back in the Academy, it’s because they are completing their full-time training. I know of stories where morons driving to the Academy in their department-issued cars, had pulled traffic stops or tried to play police before even finishing the Academy and they didn’t have jobs after that.

    With that being said, no. If you are in the Academy as a brand new Recruit / Cadet, you have zero authority to carry a weapon or act as an Officer.

    Comment


    • #3
      Once sworn as a police officer, you have either 18 moths as a part-time officer or 6 months as a full-time officer, to obtain a certificate from the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board. It is at the discretion of your department what they allow you to do prior to obtaining your certificate. See 50 ILCS 705/

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Raiden341 View Post
        Uhhhhh. I’ve never heard of this. If you are in the Academy, chances are you have not passed the State Certification Exam and therefore, are not recognized as a Police Officer by the Training and Standards Board. Part Timer’s are able to write and arrest because they are part-time certified and passed the exam already. If they are back in the Academy, it’s because they are completing their full-time training. I know of stories where morons driving to the Academy in their department-issued cars, had pulled traffic stops or tried to play police before even finishing the Academy and they didn’t have jobs after that.

        With that being said, no. If you are in the Academy as a brand new Recruit / Cadet, you have zero authority to carry a weapon or act as an Officer.
        I’m talking primarily about fairly small organizations.

        The way it works at my agency when we have guys who haven’t done the academy, like myself, we are appointed and take our 40 hour MFT before attending the academy, and then after that, we are able to work shifts previous to us attending the academy.

        We ride two to a car because i haven’t attended the academy yet, but it made me wonder about part time guys since their academy is so long and I know several part timers that continue to work while they are at the academy.

        I just didn’t know how it would work as far as limitations and working solo if the academy wasn’t completed.

        - - - - - - -

        Side bar, why the hell would someone want to do a traffic stop on their way to the academy? Lol.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by 9291 View Post
          Once sworn as a police officer, you have either 18 moths as a part-time officer or 6 months as a full-time officer, to obtain a certificate from the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board. It is at the discretion of your department what they allow you to do prior to obtaining your certificate. See 50 ILCS 705/
          Thank you!

          Comment


          • #6
            I’m blown away that agencies function like this. So what if someone walks in with zero prior L.E experience and gets hired? These agencies are putting people behind the wheel and on the road to have them do a job they know nothing about? I get it that the Academy isn’t the end all be all and people come out as legal experts, but isn’t that one giant, liability bomb waiting to go off? To me, that’s like going to the hospital and the doctor who is about to do the surgery says “it’s ok, I got hired a month ago and I take my MCAT soon!” It’s alright though, he isn’t getting on the job training.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Raiden341 View Post
              I’m blown away that agencies function like this. So what if someone walks in with zero prior L.E experience and gets hired? These agencies are putting people behind the wheel and on the road to have them do a job they know nothing about? I get it that the Academy isn’t the end all be all and people come out as legal experts, but isn’t that one giant, liability bomb waiting to go off? To me, that’s like going to the hospital and the doctor who is about to do the surgery says “it’s ok, I got hired a month ago and I take my MCAT soon!” It’s alright though, he isn’t getting on the job training.
              I agree. I think the liability alone would be enough to deter departments from doing this. In fact, in my academy class, we had an officer from East St. Louis who ended up dropping out because he was being forced to attend class and then double back to work a shift.

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              • #8
                The minute you are sworn in, you have Police powers. Your agency has either a year or 6 months to send you to the academy. But you are a peace officer in Illinois the minute you are sworn in, and after doing the 40 hr. firearms course, can carry a firearm. Now individual PD's may have general orders in place about when you can carry a gun, or about taking Police action prior to being graduated from the academy. Some agencies swear you in and, prior to starting academy, let you ride with another copper, primarily to get familiar with the geography of your town, or use to the radio.

                Using that gun prior to the academy may get you fired if you violate a department order, but (as long as the shooting is justifiable) will not get you criminally charged, as you are a peace officer.

                And Raiden, the only places I've ever seen put a new guy, with no academy in a car on patrol, is a few of those burbs east of you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Not IL, but in my state a person can work for up to 24 months as a sworn LEO with zero training. Literally: "You got your gun, right? OK, here's a badge and the squad keys...go fight crime."

                  In reality, few departments are willing to take on that liability. But it's not uncommon for officers to go on the job while still in the academy.

                  I myself started this way. I put myself through an academy and was hired as a PT officer about halfway through. I got about a month of field training, and then was let out on my own to work days I didn't have academy classes. Granted, this was nearly 20 years ago, but it still happens.

                  Typically, the departments that resort to this are small and have a hard time recruiting. When I got hired, I bought my duty belt and gun from a guy working as PT officer in a tiny town. He was a big-city firefighter and his buddy was the small-town police chief. The chief called him one day and said, "I've got a PT spot I need to fill in my police department. You're a first-responder already, how'd you like to be a cop?" That was the interview. He took the job, did it for over a year, then decided he didn't like it enough to put himself through an academy to keep the job beyond 2 years.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What ChiTown said. In fact, part-time officers can be sworn-in and they just have to be ENROLLED in at least a part-time academy within 6 months. The part-time academies (STAR/PEP) don't have constant start dates, so you may have someone working "part-time" for up to a year before they actually have to be in a program. Every department that does that is supposed to have department standards (ie: complete 40-hour firearms, OC spray, 4th amendment) which have to be submitted to the ILTSB. But a lot of those can be satisfied with 4-8 hour NEMRT courses.

                    I digress. If you are sworn in prior to attending the academy, you have full police powers. If your department does not swear you, you are simply appointed. You will not have full police powers until such time you are duly sworn.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks guys! That answered my question!

                      Comment

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