For immediate release:
March 23, 2015
INDIANAPOLIS - Legislation sponsored by State Rep. Linda Lawson (D-Hammond) that would provide the Northwest Indiana Law Enforcement Academy (NILEA) with greater flexibility in training its officers is heading to Governor Mike Pence for final approval.
Members of the Indiana House today passed Senate Bill 193, which establishes the NILEA as an organization that can apply for and receive federal grant funding. The funding would be used for training enhancements and facility renovations. Since House members offered no amendments, the legislation goes straight to Gov. Pence for his consideration.
“The NILEA is a satellite of the original academy located in Plainfield, but current law doesn’t allow satellites to apply for federal grant funds,” explained Lawson. “There is definitely a money crunch for the police academies. We’ve needed additional funding for years but haven’t been able to get it.
“This bill puts the NILEA on the same financial playing field as Plainfield,” she added.
Established in 1982, the NILEA began as an offshoot when President Bill Clinton signed a bill into law allowing police departments nationwide to hire more police officers.
“Plainfield’s academy was packed due to the law’s passage. There was even a one-year waiting period to get any officers trained for all of Indiana’s police departments,” said Lawson.
To address the ever-expanding need for more trained police officers, the NILEA and a similar academy in Southwest Indiana were developed. Both academies took on officers from surrounding counties so they didn’t have to travel all the way to Plainfield for training.
The NILEA is in charge of training police officers from 65 local law enforcement departments within 13 counties of Northwest Indiana.