Monday, December 10, 2007

Belleville News-Democrat

Here is a story from Sunday's Belleville News Democrat in regards to police driver training.

Firearms training is a big deal for the Illinois State Police.

Which is why state troopers must go to a shooting range every three months to requalify in the use of their handguns.

But the only formal training state troopers receive in the handling of their vehicles, including high-speed pursuits and emergency responses, occurs during their days as Illinois State Police Academy cadets, according to Master Sgt. Brian Ley, a state police spokesman.

Otherwise, their driver's training occurs on their own, during the thousands of miles troopers log each year.

The failure of the state police to ensure more and better driver's education for its troopers is an all-too-familiar story that has resulted in scores of needless deaths each year nationwide, according to John Phillips, executive director of Florida-based PursuitWatch, which promotes safe driving techniques for police.

"The problem here is that in a 25-year career, an officer on average will shoot their gun once," Phillips said. "And in that same time period, 80 percent of their time on the job is spent in their car. Yet when we look at training, it's overwhelmingly in the use of their handgun."

The question of how much training police officers should receive to drive their vehicles safely has been raised following a crash along Interstate 64 near Scott Air Force Base that claimed the lives of two Collinsville sisters -- Jessica Uhl, 18, and Kelli Uhl, 13.

Continued HERE.

This also got picked up in the AP article you can read HERE.


Anonymous said...

Mr. Phillips, this article you posted by the Belleville News Democrat is misleading. The unfortunate deaths of these two girls was not the result of a police pursuit. An Illinois State Police Trooper was responding to a motor vehicle crash where there were injuries and people possibly trapped inside their crashed vehicle(s). You have also manipulated the actual story from the paper. I live in the Belleville area and am quite familiar with this tragic event. If you are going to use this article for your cause then please correct it to it's proper content as printed by the Belleville News Democrat. As it is posted on this site now it is wrong and seemingly intentionally misleading to benefit your cause. Now, please don't misinterpret my reply as a negative toward your site. I agree, to an extent, your efforts to maintain smart pursuits but at the same time I also believe if you intentionally manipulated this article you are serving no better of a cause then the reason this site was originally intended. The death of your loved one.

John T. Fox said...

I'm not certain how anything in Mr. Phillips's post could be considered misleading. If you click on the link at the bottom of the post, it will direct you to, which is where the article appears in its original form. Mr. Phillips has merely reproduced the first part of the article for this blog. Where's the problem?