New police training facility built in Decatur


A new police training facility is being built in Decatur. Whether it will become the new home of the Police Training Center from the University of Illinois, however, remains to be seen.

Illinois has a number of police training centers, including ones in Cook County, southwest Illinois and the Illinois State Police Academy.

Macon County Sheriff Tom Schneider said the Police Training Institute at U of I is the most prestigious, but it’s fallen on hard times. The school has even looked at moving it to a quonset hut off campus a few years ago.

Schneider said that’s why the Howard Buffett Foundation stepped up to build a new, $15 million police training center.

“They’re breaking ground,” Schneider said. “They’re going to build the facility. Once they’re done, they’re going to turn the facility over to the State of Illinois.”

Schneider said the training center is essentially a small campus. The center will have dorms for cadets, classrooms and enough space for the new kind of training Illinois’ police officers need. The only question remains the name and whether the new center will be tied to the university.

“The only thing we know is that there’ll be a police training center here,” he said. “Exactly who the flagship entity that will run it or be a part of it is unknown.”

Schneider said Illinois’ Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board will make the final decision.