Update - 15 Hostage phones were distdributed on November 10th at the ITC after the mandatory training.
Update - The 40 ballistic shields were distributed to the 20 teams/agencies across the State on August 26th at the end of a one week tactical shield use course. This course was conducted by the ILEAS WMD Special Response Team training cadre.
ILEAS utilized $450,000 of Federal Homeland Security Grant funds to provide crisis negotiator phone systems and ballistic shields to 35 specialized tactical and negotiator units across the State. The funds came from Federal FY20 State Homeland Security Program and Federal FY20 & FY21 Urban Area Security Initiative grants. Applicant agencies/teams participated in a competitive application process. They were awarded the equipment based on several factors including need. Additionally, in an effort to provide resources throughout the State, geographic location was considered. ILEAS’ motto is, “Strength Through Cooperation.” Priority was given to applicants participating in multi-jurisdictional teams and efforts where this equipment can be shared across a wide-ranging area. While 35 awards were made, well over 150 law enforcement agencies will benefit from these grants.
Twenty Teams/Agencies were awarded a set of two ballistic shields each. These shields are rated for handgun and rifle rounds and intended to protect officers as they approach an armed subject or active shooter situation. This safety equipment is invaluable during armed confrontations. Given the potential for active shooters, ILEAS also focused on the community college police departments across Illinois.
Fifteen Teams/Agencies received a negotiations communications system. These systems are used by trained negotiators to communicate at a distance with a hostage taker, armed barricaded subjects and armed potentially suicidal people. This technology provides a secure and reliable methodology of communicating in those situations in an attempt to de-escalate and close the situation peacefully.
In order to receive the equipment, officers must attend training at the ILEAS Training Center in Urbana on how to deploy the shields and how to operate the negotiator equipment. Click here for a list of the awardees.