Illinois is the last state in the nation to prohibit individuals from carrying concealed weapons. That is, until next year rolls around.
Illinois police officers are already preparing for next April (when the state begins issuing permits), when Illinois residents can begin carrying concealed firearms. Specifically, police officers must be prepared for how they handle everything from traffic stops to street stops as to better protect themselves and to prevent fatal errors.
The new training program includes traffic stop training, which is currently one of the most dangerous activities for police officers. With concealed handguns in play, this activity will likely become an even more dangerous activity.
Preparing for a ‘Sea of Change’
As Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said, “There is going to be a sea of change for law enforcement” throughout the state. With legal handguns in the hands of citizens, performing the job of an Illinois police officer will, no doubt, get quite a bit more complicated.
The Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board will require additional, required training for new officers, from 480 hours to about 560 hours, which would include about 10 hours of training on the concealed carry. The Board recently viewed training standards for other states that have long-standing laws related to the concealed carry when changing up the training curriculum for Illinois police officers.
The new training program will include a training video, which shows officers how to handle street and traffic stops.
A Legislative Bump in the Road
Although the law enforcement community asked that the concealed carry legislation includes language that would require citizens to announce that they had a concealed carry permit, but legislators disagreed. This lack of legislation frustrates many law enforcement officials, who say that everything must be done to protect the safety of both citizens and law enforcement officers.