Chicago Heights , IL—(ENEWSPF)— Prairie State College Board members met in a special session last week to approve an Intergovernmental Agreement with the Chicago Heights Police Department, which is the beginning phase in the implementation of a trained police force at PSC. The Intergovernmental Agreement plan has been in process for almost a year.
Board Member Peg Donohue, a strong supporter of the agreement, stated she was pleased with the board’s decision to move forward with the approval. Meanwhile, J.R. Dempsey, Vice President of Business and Information Services, explained PSC’s liability coverage as it relates to the agreement. “Our liability coverage is more than sufficient to cover the $5 million primary liability. Our participation in the Illinois Community College Risk Management Consortium is up to $21 million, which includes specific liability for law enforcement concerns.”
Norman Martin, Director of Campus and Public Safety at PSC, outlined the steps toward a trained police force. “Prior to the training, our very next step is to complete the documents and forward them to the Illinois Law Enforcement Standard and Training Board. Upon their approval, we can certify this department.”
Martin continued, “Once the department is certified, we will send out various applications to the various academies.”
Currently, there are three or more choices that the college is pursuing, Including the College of DuPage South Suburban Academy, the Cook County Sheriffs Academy, and the Chicago Police Academy, are among the choices. However, nothing has been finalized as to which academy the officers from PSC will train.
Martin stated he is searching for academies that are conveniently located so PSC public safety officials can commute. Martin also said the process of training the officers will take time. He estimates training will involve 400 hours of work, which equates to about 10 weeks.
As a result of the training process, he explained, “we will have to be creative with our scheduling” to ensure we have sufficient security on campus. “As far as how we will cover the shifts, I plan to work on the scheduling and we will be extending the duration and possibly scheduling some officers to work overtime.”
In addition, Martin said, “if there were any major events to take place on campus, we may have to go outside for assistance, but I don’t anticipate that at this point.” Martin said.