Law Enforcement Mutual Aid in Illinois
The primary reason for ILEAS being formed was to develop and operate a statewide mutual aid plan. The first plan that ILEAS implemented was called the “car plan” or the “alarm plan.” It was based on the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System (NIPAS) car plan. Every chief and sheriff filled out a pre-plan on paper which was distributed throughout the state and managed by Northwest Central Dispatch in Arlington Heights with the Peoria Police Dispatch as back-up. That system worked well for the first few years.
However, through time, problems started to develop. ILEAS experienced quick growth in membership but those new agencies were often not reflected in the alarm cards at the time. It was cumbersome for a chief to be required to constantly upgrade the agency’s alarm card based on new membership. As a result, the alarm cards were becoming stale.
Additionally, agencies started requesting more than just officers and deputies. Requests for supervisors and equipment started coming in but were denied because they were not reflected on the alarm cards. The need to revamp the original system prompted a complete mutual aid review.
The new mutual aid system officially started on January 1, 2010. The new system is based on available resources. Every ILEAS member agency enters and updates the resources it possesses into an online database. This data includes number of officers, supervisors, types of vehicles, specialty equipment, translators, etc.
When a crisis strikes an agency, the incident commander can call the ILEAS dispatch center and describe what type of assistance his/her agency needs. The telecommunicator then enters that request into the software which creates an alarm card “on the fly” for that specific incident. The telecommunicator can then start making the requests for the stricken agency - sending them specifically what they need.
So far, the software has worked very well and has overcome the problems with the previous static system. ILEAS has developed pocket cards (see below) for supervisors that outline a step-by-step process for getting emergency assistance from ILEAS along with a list of the available resources.
To assist field command staff with ILEAS mutual aid activations, these plastic pocket cards can be carried by supervisors in the field and at all times. If a need for mutual aid exists, the supervisor can follow the directions on the card to get assistance. These cards are provided free of charge. To order cards for your supervisors, contact Nancy Crossman at firstname.lastname@example.org.