FOIA requests trigger ILETSB compliance
Edgar County Watchdogs reported in a recent issue of Illinois Leaks that Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests triggered Illinois Law Enforcement Training & Standards Board (ILETSB) non-compliance letters to be sent to 30 sheriffs.
The watchdog group submitted an FOIA request in October. It asked for copies of the ILETSB record for every Illinois sheriff and copies of the non-compliance letters sent to those who had failed to complete the board's training requirements.
After receiving a letter from the board maintaining that did not have a tracking system for sheriff trainings or copies of the non-compliance letters, the watchdogs put in a second FOIA request. The second letter quoted the law that required the board's duties regarding sheriff trainings and notifications.
Although it took two weeks for the compiled records to arrive, the watchdogs received three years of sheriff training records and non-compliance letters for 30 sheriffs in 2016. In addition, 31 sheriffs in 2015 and 22 in 2014 failed to complete the required 20 hours of training per year.
Illinois Leaks reported that the 30 letters sent out for non-compliance were dated Feb. 14. While the timing of the FOIA request and ILETSB letters could be a coincidence, it seemed doubtful considering the failure of the board to track and ensure compliance in 2015 and 2014, according to the publication
Edgar County Watchdogs highlights the importance of FOIA requests and their influence in ensuring that public bodies perform their legally mandated duties.