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Does Association = Endorsement?

Did you know that over 80 pages of the Illinois Vehicle Code speak about laws pertaining to trucks?  In comparison, there are only five pages in the Illinois Criminal Code about murder.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations has over 600 pages of laws.  It’s next to impossible to calculate how many pages of policies are written in the Illinois Joint Committee of Administrative Rules as it’s an online-only document…safe to assume there are several hundred more pages of regulations.  If the goal is lawful truck enforcement, there is a MASSIVE amount of information to comprehend.

In Illinois, some police officers specialize in truck enforcement full time or within a dedicated traffic unit, but not all.  Rookie police officers fresh out of the academy can enforce truck laws without any training.  A police chief who has been off the street for 15 years can enforce truck laws without any training.  Most police officers go through a 40-hour training class on size and weight to learn the trade before writing tickets, but there is no requirement!

Any police officer who completes a 40-hour basic truck school graduates with some pretty lethal ammunition, so to speak.  Overweight tickets can total in the thousands of dollars.  Having the wrong class or endorsement of CDL can land a driver in jail.  The ITEA believes that any police officer locked-and-loaded for truck enforcement needs to be more than just trained…they need to be trained well…and held accountable.  Merely passing a class and never exercising the knowledge on the street leads to costly mistakes, usually paid by the trucking industry.  The mission of the ITEA is to fill in the gaps of understanding and resource police officers in an effort to prevent such disasters.

All member police officers of the ITEA agree to follow the rules and bylaws when they sign up.  That is what association is all about.  Association, however, is different than endorsement.  While the ITEA expects all member police officers to do an upstanding job of truck enforcement, our endorsement process is for those who elect to be certified by the ITEA.  Endorsed, certified, or accredited are all terms synonymous for truck officers that have agreed to be set apart and held to a higher standard.

Any police officer successfully completing our 40-hour class graduates certified by the ITEA.  Police officers who have been through a different 40-hour class can attend our 8-hour certification class.  The goal of certification is not to make perfect and know-it-all truck officers, but to hold officers to a 4-point creed:

…to seek out authoritative information and resources, …to make informed decisions before making wrong ones, …to be humble enough to ask for help, …to be open for correction

Police officers who have gone through our certification process are making a difference in the quality of truck enforcement in Illinois.  Our next 8-hour certification class is February 16th.  If you are a truck officer, get signed up now while there are still a few seats left (free for members).  If you are a trucker, call your local police chief or sheriff and respectfully request your local truck officers obtain certification from the ITEA.  You deserve the best.

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