Jump to content

State Police plan massive trooper layoffs, to close five headquarters


05FLHT

Recommended Posts

http://www.sj-r.com/news/x99764408/State-Police-plan-massive-trooper-layoffs-to-close-five-districts

 

State Police plan massive trooper layoffs, to close five headquarters

 

Search provided by Premier Guide

Featured Business »

By BERNARD SCHOENBURG (bernard.schoenburg@sj-r.com)

THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER

Posted Mar 23, 2010 @ 07:27 PM

Last update Mar 24, 2010 @ 12:13 AM

 

 

The Illinois State Police will lay off more than 460 troopers and close five regional headquarters by this fall, acting State Police director Jonathon Monken said Tuesday.

 

 

With expected retirements, the layoffs will reduce the number of sworn state troopers by about 600, or 30 percent, Monken said. The force currently has a little over 2,000 troopers.

 

The five offices are those in Litchfield, Carmi, Pecatonica, Macomb and Des Plaines. State Police have 22 offices now.

 

“There will be significant consequences to public safety,” Monken warned.

 

“We expect an increase in traffic fatalities, increased exposure to terrorist threats in Illinois, an increase in gun and drug trafficking, in addition to the loss of an estimated $12 million in citation revenue for counties across the state,” he said.

 

The cuts are being made necessary by the state’s budget crisis, Monken told a Senate appropriations committee.

 

“Under this budget plan, the Illinois State Police will become a different agency,” Monken said, “no longer providing pro-active programs to keep our citizens safe, but only able to respond to calls for assistance.”

 

The District 18 headquarters in Litchfield is the base for 33 sworn officers, Monken told reporters later. Some staff members would be relocated to other facilities, and territories covered by nearby districts – in Litchfield’s case, District 9 in Springfield and District 11 in Collinsville -- would be expanded to fill gaps.

 

 

 

Longer response time

 

However, response times in some areas of the state could grow to two or three hours, he said.

 

“It could be 80 or 100 miles” to some crash scenes, he said.

 

In all, Gov. Pat Quinn’s budget calls for State Police to lose $32 million in general revenue fund appropriations, to about $378 million, Monken said.

 

In addition to laying off 464 sworn personnel, 30 officers are being transferred to help the Illinois Gaming Board patrol a 10th riverboat casino planned for Des Plaines, as well as enforce video poker regulations statewide.

 

In addition, about 100 officers are expected to retire during the fiscal year that begins June 1.

 

That means the agency could go from the current 2,025 sworn officers to 1,425 or 1,450 by mid-2011, about a 30 percent cut. Monken said the agency’s head count hasn’t been that low in 40 or 50 years.

 

The State Police will “do what they always do, which is work as hard as they need to” to promote public safety, he said.

 

“Needless to say,” he added, “this is anything except the ideal situation. In my opinion, we’re understaffed right now.”

 

 

 

‘Heebee-jeebees’

 

“Your budget plan is scaring the heebee-jeebees out of me,” said state Sen. Donne Trotter, D-Chicago, chairman of the appropriations panel.

 

“That makes two of us, sir,” Monken responded.

 

Monken said later that if the legislature approves the 1 percentage point increase in the state income tax Quinn has requested for education, some funds could be freed up for other agencies.

 

Only half of the 10 officers now assigned to the Statewide Terrorism Intelligence Center in Springfield would remain on that detail. The agency’s methamphetamine response team of 42 officers spread throughout the state would be “all but eliminated,” he said.

 

State Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, said Winnebago County, which includes Pecatonica, has a high crime rate. He asked if Rockford police would have to take up duties that had been done by State Police.

 

“Yes, sir,” Monken said. “Many of the functions that we perform, they would be performing, that’s correct.”

 

State Police would still patrol tollways in northern Illinois, because the tollway system pays for that service, Monken said. But local agencies would have to patrol many other highways in the absence of nearby State Police officers.

 

Monken said the districts to be closed were picked either because they’re in relatively low-crime areas or because of the availability of other police agencies. But if the Des Plaines headquarters is closed, the entire Chicago area wouldn’t have a “bricks-and-mortar” state police presence.

 

“They do have 13,000 officers,” he said of the Chicago Police Department, “but that doesn’t mean they have a lot of people who are just sitting around waiting for something to do.”

 

Monken said no layoffs of civilian workers are planned.

 

“We’re at the lowest staffing level possible on the civilian side,” he said.

 

 

 

Bernard Schoenburg can be reached at 788-1540.

 

 

State police regional headquarters slated for closure about Sept. 1

 

 

District 18, Litchfield; 33 sworn officers

 

District 16, Pecatonica; 35 officers

 

District 14, Macomb; 32 officers

 

District 19, Carmi; 38 officers

 

Des Plaines (Chicago area): 182 officers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Already there's little traffic enforcement in the Chicago area on the Interstate highways. I-294, the Tri-State Tollway, is a veritable racetrack. I'm no slowpoke, and I do ride a 155mph motorcycle, but it's still pretty bad to me out there. 70mph is almost a minimum (on a 55mph road with heavy traffic) and 85mph is nothing unusual at all. If it's not raining or snowing, you almost can't spot a stretch that doesn't have 80+mph traffic.

 

Removing the state police from this and other sections (like I-94 in Lake County, another racetrack with significant 85+mph traffic norms) will not be good.

 

Don't get me wrong- I like to go fast. But speed differential is what causes trouble, and 90mph vehicles mixed with 65mph vehicles in a tight, crowded space is bad news for everybody.

Then, layer on top of this Rep. Acevedo's absurd "assault weapons" ban with its huge labor requirements for the State Police, all of the registration and record-keeping and processing, and what little police work getting done will grind to a halt.

 

In rural areas, the image of persons pinned in wrecked cars waiting a half-hour for help to arrive is not too far-fetched, as if things weren't bad enough as it is. I understand that the instantaneous response we urbanites are accustomed to is not realistic in rural areas- I spent my weekends for 20-some years in the '70s and '80s in Walworth County, Wisconsin- police services will become even more unobtainable for those in need.

 

It's to be hoped that this announcement is a doomsday tactic as so often seen by the Chicago Transit Authority, but it's still scary to think about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Public safety will suffer? I doubt it will have much impact on safety, but will impact convenience.

 

Inconvenience only? No impact on safety? The want to pull 460 State Troopers off of the street and you don't think it will affect safety? The bulk of the Officers, 182 from the article, would be from the Chicago area. Chicago is already thousands of officers short and local PD's are laying off Officers. The impact will be felt beyond the State roads as local resources will need to further stretch to cover the gaps.

 

I am not attacking you, but I highly disagree with your opinion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is simply a "slash and burn" gimmick to strike fear into the hearts of lawmakers and the sheep that expect the ISP to protect them. First of all, who among us will lose the personal officer that is assigned to us to provide individual safety? Anyone? Didn't think so.

 

Secondly, like any other time the governor (small G intentional) talks about budgets, he wants to close things down. Try this gov, take that same amount of money that you will "save" by closing those 5 HQ's. Divide it by 22 total districts in the state and require each division to cut back by that %. No closures, everyone takes the same cut. If we took time to research, I'm betting that the districts facing closure have some political significance to the governor.

 

 

AB

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If this is just a "gimmick," then it is one we should shove back in their face and down their throats. We are legislated defenseless and then told they are cutting public safety. Where is the public outcry? Where is Daley and his band of merry pastors?

 

I think a nice cut from the budget would be the security at the capitol and Quinn's security detail. Let them fend for themselves. If that ever happened, I would want to see if they are still arguing over the definition of "case."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They know the carrying of firearms is coming to Illinois - one way or another.

 

Two things are being set up with this action.

1) Scare the people into supporting increased taxation.

 

2) Pad the Brady Bunch stats pertaining to gun related violence.

 

The fixation on dictatorial control is being exposed for what it is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Funny that 4 of the 5 are outside of the metro Chicago area. I'm sure it is just a coincidence.

 

Well, you know how it is. There's fewer people in 100 counties combined than DuPage and Cook, yadda yadda yadda... so the state will cut funds to those districts. I guess the Des Plaines office was to have state troopers close to O'Hare? Someone in Des Plaines must have aroused the wrath of the Machine...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This state's "leadership" played the fear card in releasing dangerous convicts and it bit them in the behind. Playing the fear card here, treating police and firefighters like pawns, will do the same thing.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Frankly, I'm speechless at what Quinn is proposing...

 

Particularly with wanting to close ISP Chicago in Des Plaines (formerly known as District 3) which IS the District that patrols all of the seven major Chicago area Highway systems. With having worked very closely with the majority of the ISP Districts I can tell you that closing District Chicago would at the very least greatly impact highway safety. They patrol the entire length of the Kennedy, Dan Ryan, majority of the Edens, I-290, Stevenson, Bishop Ford, and I-57. Even though you may not see them parked at every turnaround, they are out there busting their butts. The number of incidents they respond to is tremendous!

 

Not to mention ISP Chicago works hand in hand with the IDOT Minutemen (Ever see those big yellow (EPV's) Emergency Patrol Vehicles on the highways around Chicago?) and trust when I say, when this closing happens, it will greatly impact their workload as well.

 

I can remember, and I'm certain many of you can as well, when CPD had the responsibility for the coverage area that ISP Chicago now maintains. There was a reason the State Police took it over many years ago, and in my opinion this is yet one more major step backwards for Illinois.

 

I just called a friend who is a Trooper at District Chicago and he said "We are all in shock here. All I can say is when the change takes place good luck if you're ever in an accident outside of the Minutemen patrol area."

 

Thanks Gov. Quinn.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally, I'm all in favor of it.

 

ISP isn't "protecting" anyone generally speaking.

 

They are there to write tickets and generate revenue.

 

Writing speeding tickets to some soccer mom or daily driver going 10 over the limit isn't "protecting" the public.

 

And as far as "gun trafficking" goes, a few years ago a pair or trio of ISP investigators, a pair of CPD CAGE cops, an Urbana cop and someone from ATF rolled up to my workplace and tried to game face me into submitting to their will reference an employee that sold a gun to someone without a FOID card. I just laughed at their threats to arrest me if I failed to assist them.

 

Yeah, that's right... about eight cops for a fracking misdemeanor "gun trafficking" investigation.

 

And they had the balls to tell the employee they would be back to arrest me for fanny pack carry. I wrote the main investigator a letter inviting them back at their earliest convenience with bracelets.

 

Of course, I explained the consequences for them for doing it.

 

Guess what? They never came back.

 

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

John, I'm going to have to disagree. I'd like to refer you back to my post, but more importantly Rock4565's.

He spells out very well just how much work these guys do. They don't get to write very many speeding tickets, and the ones they do are for many, many violations beyond the "80 in a 55" that actually makes it onto the yellow paper.

There are a heck of a lot of crashes, stalls, blockages, and all kinds of other vehicular mayhem across the metro system and the troopers are badly overworked trying to keep up as it is.

There may be areas where writing speeders is part of the plan, but it's about fourth or fifth on the list for this district.

There's nowhere near enough police and emergency coverage on these roads- don't forget that this includes the busiest road in the country (the Dan Ryan), and others in the top 20.

I would point out that nearly half of the layoffs are from this particular district- actually close to a "fair" proportion to non-metro counties, since half the population of the state lives in this region that the Des Plaines post covers.

Incidentally, "Des Plaines" is just a location, a mid-sized northwest suburb of about 60,000 souls but not really part of the specific patrol area. The building they use is an old Lottery office, too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If this is just a "gimmick," then it is one we should shove back in their face and down their throats. We are legislated defenseless and then told they are cutting public safety. Where is the public outcry? Where is Daley and his band of merry pastors?

 

I think a nice cut from the budget would be the security at the capitol and Quinn's security detail. Let them fend for themselves. If that ever happened, I would want to see if they are still arguing over the definition of "case."

 

I hope no one will fall under the illusion that they ever had protection from the ISP. I do not consider calling the ISP for anything any form of protection. When they arrive what is done is done and the investigation begins. Even for traffic when you are pulled over it is reactionary and not preventative. The deterrent effect is minimal evidenced by the continued speed limit violations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So who is going to patrol the State roads? What happens when there is an accident? The article states local departments will need to cover the slack. Local departments are not hiring or even laying off officers. Bottom line, same (more could be argued) workload and less people to do it.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Quinn does not get his way he will next cut Fire departments. This is the plan to get his way on the tax increase. This is the "Chicago" way. They think we are pretty dumb to not see this and they may be right....

 

 

Fire departments have already been hit. Layoffs have already happened in a lot of towns, including Oak Lawn, Oak Park, Dekalb, Broadview. And that is just a sample not a complete list. My department has had 5 openings eliminated by ordinance and we lost 1 of our 2 ambulances.

On the police side we lost 6 officers. This is happening all over. When the cops are overtaxed they look to the counties and state to back them up. If those officers aren't there, then what?

To say this won't affect public safety is a gross misunderstanding of the issue.

The State police crime lab is so backed up we are still waiting for the test reults on an arson that is TWO YEARS OLD! What other evidence is still sitting there waiting to be tested? How many crimes are being commited by individuals who should be behind bars but aren't because the evidence hasn't been processed?

Striking at public safety departments for budget cuts first is a chickens---t and incompetent way of trying to solve a budget problem. Its time to take an axe to the ridiculous amount of entitlement spending and graft/corruption in this state.

This state is well on its way to bankruptcy. It will be painful to stop it. But I firmly believe that no one in Springfield has the balls to do what it takes to save us.

Sorry I sound so negative, but I call em as I see em.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The County that I live in does not have 24 hour Police Patrols. The three largest town in the county do. Closing District 18 does have an immediate impact to this area.

 

Also I do my qualification shoots there. I will force me to travel further or the Fire Department will have to make arrangements with some other Range for me to use.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's the final word: Daley don't like it so it ain't gonna happen:

 

Daley strongly opposes State Police cutbacks

 

 

March 24, 2010

 

BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter

The Daley administration will strongly oppose Gov. Quinn’s plan to impose State Police cutbacks so draconian, they would require Chicago Police to assume primary responsibility for patrolling 53 miles of Chicago area expressways, City Hall sources said today.

 

Read the whole story here: Sun Times Link

Link to comment
Share on other sites

John, I'm going to have to disagree. I'd like to refer you back to my post, but more importantly Rock4565's.

He spells out very well just how much work these guys do. They don't get to write very many speeding tickets, and the ones they do are for many, many violations beyond the "80 in a 55" that actually makes it onto the yellow paper.

There are a heck of a lot of crashes, stalls, blockages, and all kinds of other vehicular mayhem across the metro system and the troopers are badly overworked trying to keep up as it is.

There may be areas where writing speeders is part of the plan, but it's about fourth or fifth on the list for this district.

There's nowhere near enough police and emergency coverage on these roads- don't forget that this includes the busiest road in the country (the Dan Ryan), and others in the top 20.

I would point out that nearly half of the layoffs are from this particular district- actually close to a "fair" proportion to non-metro counties, since half the population of the state lives in this region that the Des Plaines post covers.

Incidentally, "Des Plaines" is just a location, a mid-sized northwest suburb of about 60,000 souls but not really part of the specific patrol area. The building they use is an old Lottery office, too.

 

Tell you what, if these cuts do come through, we'll send all the troopers from District 10 up to you. That way, they won't be patrolling the streets of Shelbyville between the hours of 7:30 and 8:15 a.m. writing seat belt tickets to the soccer Moms taking their kids to school and the football Dads trying to get to work to make enough money to put gas in Soccer Mom's SUV!!! Meth heads everywhere, labs all over, drugs running up and down the two major interstates through the district and these guys are writing $75 belt tickets. Give me a break!

 

AB

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Meth heads everywhere, labs all over, drugs running up and down the two major interstates through the district and these guys are writing $75 belt tickets. Give me a break!

 

AB

 

 

BRAVO!

 

They also do bar checks here in C-U and liquor and tobacco checks at the Casey's stores. Like the local PDs can't handle that... Gotta keep us safe from underage drinkers and smokers!

 

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is just a note of clarification for all you Trolls out there;

Policemen are not our enemies and we appreciate all the hard work that they do.

 

We here at Illinois carry Inc. understand that this is just another scare tactic by governor-by-default Quinn to scare us into supporting an unneeded tax hike.

 

We fully understand that governor-by-default Quinn would never actually lay off thousand of teachers or policemen before less essential state workers such as those from non-essential state entities like IDOT, the Dept. of welfare, the Sec. of State's office, The Tollway and numerous other non-essential state agencies.

 

Oh yea, did I mention that this corrupt state has the largest fleet of state run airplanes used exclusively by state officials of any of the 50 states? Gee, aren't part of Alaska and Hawaii only accessible by air?

 

We here understand that this is a low tactic by the governor-by-default to scare people into supporting a tax hike that will be p***** away like all of our other taxes, furthering the sad economic state that Illinois dug itself into.

 

We here at Illinois carry are smarter than to think this is anything other than another slimy tactic aimed at those who do not have the ability to think for themselves {in case you were wondering who those people are, they are the same people who vote the same crooks in year after year and expect a different outcome.} If in doubt, just remember that Illinois reelected Milorod Blagojevich for a second term knowing full well what kind of slimeball governor he was.

 

I'd type more but I need to step off this lofty soapbox because I have a nosebleed.

 

{rant off}

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...