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Published on Monday, February 23, 2015

Proposal would require cities to pay for the Basic Law Enforcement Academy

A Senate proposal, SB 5955, up for hearing on Tuesday in the Senate Ways & Means Committee, would require cities to pay the full cost of sending an officer to the Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA). That would mean about $15,000 per officer sent to BLEA. In recent years the Legislature has required cities to pay 25% of the cost as well as the cost of ammunition for attending the Academy.

AWC opposes this new proposal to shift the cost to cities. Cities already pay for BLEA through the traffic ticket fine revenue that is submitted to the State. When the state mandated a statewide training system in the 1970’s, the state and local governments agreed that the training would be funded through an added percentage to every traffic ticket written by local law enforcement. In 1984, the state created a special account – the Public Safety and Education Account (PSEA) – where funds were placed to pay for BLEA and other public safety uses. In 2009, the state eliminated the PSEA account and began depositing the dedicated traffic ticket revenue into the general fund. As a result, the funding for BLEA and the CJTC was shifted to the general fund.

With the shift away from a dedicated fund we have seen the erosion of the state’s commitment to fully fund BLEA – first with the requirement to pay 25% of the cost and now with a proposal to shift the full cost on to cities.

Contact your Senators and let them know that cities strongly oppose this cost shift. Remind them that cities already pay for this training through traffic ticket fines sent to the State General Fund.

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