Basic Correctional Officer Academy
Management and administration of the Basic Correctional Officer Academy conducted by the DuPage, Peoria and Sangamon County Sheriffs Offices transitioned back to the Police Training Institute at the University of Illinois. Contact PTI for information concerning upcoming academies at (217)333-6522.
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|Author(s)||Chief Richard A. Chaplin|
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|Abstract||Methamphetamine has changed policing, and more than anything else, attitudes of the police towards the courts have changed. Officers felt that the state court judges were indifferent to not only the magnitude of the meth problem but also towards the dangers that surrounded the police in dealing with it. Officers knew that meth was not just another drug; it was a menace that if left unchecked would become out of control. Police soon began to appreciate the judges in the federal court system. In a federal court, judges and prosecutors recognized meth for the hazard that it was and justly sentenced those involved to prison, not probation. Officers were being approached by those whom they had arrested, via federal indictments, for meth involvement and thanked the officers for their arrests and for saving their lives. This article discusses meth itself, how law enforcement battled it at the beginning, and how communities working together with law enforcement should battle it in the future. Research for this article included discussions with a DEA agent, excerpts from actual meth users on how the drug affected them and their lives, and information from books and periodicals. A majority of the article is based upon my own ideas and personal experience. The conclusion of this article is derived from the personal accounts and ideas that have been formed from those accounts. A newspaper article in the April 8, 2004 issue of the Olney Daily Mail commented about an announcement that the governor of Oklahoma made in Oklahoma City. The governors announcement concerned his support of new legislation to strengthen the fight against methamphetamine: Governor Brad Henry signed legislation to ban some sales of several popular cold remedies used to make methamphetamines, barring the drugs from stores other than pharmacies. Governor Henry went on to say that the bill will reduce the risk of law enforcement officers who endanger their lives every time they stop someone for speeding or walk into a house to dismantle a lab. On its face, one might believe that police would support such legislation, and had this law been passed years ago, law enforcement probably would. Governor Henrys new legislation, however, is an affront to law enforcement. The article goes on to say that the families of three state troopers killed during meth investigations surrounded Governor Henry when this announcement was made. Why does it take the lives of police officers or innocent civilians before legislators and/or judges decide that enough is enough and react to the situation? Methamphetamine requires pro-action, not reaction, if it is going to be stopped. Two years ago, I was involved in an investigation of a meth cook gone wrong resulting in an explosion and a fire. The cook received second and third degree burns from his waist up, which included burns to his esophagus. He suffered miserably for 3 days before he died.|