WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Macomb Might Not Get Police Academy

Jun 12, 2012

There has been talk about relocating the Police Training Institute to Western Illinois University but it appears those plans have stalled.

The facility would have replaced one in Urbana. The University of Illinois was preparing to close it June 30 because of the operational costs, which it shares with the state.

The U of I questioned the expense of more than $600,000 a year on something that isn't part of the school's academic mission or geared toward students.

The Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board turned to WIU as a backup.  The training board voted in September in favor of having a certified training academy at the Macomb campus.

Dana Biernbaum, WIU Assistant Vice President for Administrative Services, said Western has been negotiating details with the board but costs are also a major sticking point for WIU.

“We at Western have been very clear from the very first day they approached us that we would not be able to infuse large sums of cash into an academy and that the board would have to help fund it,” Biernbaum said. 

She said WIU administrators are evaluating the school's options.

In the meantime, the U of I and the training board reportedly are now working toward an agreement that would keep the Institute open in Urbana. University trustees were to vote on closing the Institute at a recent meeting but the agenda item was pulled.