The World’s Largest Truck Convoy

Law enforcement and Special Olympics go together like peanut butter and jelly. The partnership between the truck industry and the police is a little more like cats and dogs. There are times when they get along great, and others times when the dog is always chasing the cat. The Special Olympics truck convoy is a great time for both police and the trucking industry to get together and have a good time.

For years police officers have participated in various fundraisers to help support Special Olympics and the athletes who participate. Cop on Top at Dunkin Donuts, Butterburgers and Badges at Culver’s, the Plane Pull, the Polar Plunge and much more.  All these fundraisers have helped numerous Special Olympics athletes compete throughout Illinois.

The purpose of Special Olympics is to help those with disabilities find confidence and fulfilment through sports. The program is international with more than 4.9 million athletes in over 172 countries. The fundraisers held in Illinois help Illinois athletes compete at the state level and beyond.

So how does the Illinois Truck Enforcement Association come into play? Well, as an organization of both police and truckers, we sponsor the World’s Largest Truck Convoy. On August 26th, 2017, it kicks off at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.

Registration begins at 8:00 am, and the convoy rolls out around 10:00 am. Heading west on I-90 to the Huntley interchange and back, the trucks will be seen for the entire 30-mile route. After the convoy, enjoy lunch and raffle prizes. This is a great event for the kids to come out and see some cool trucks and cool police cars.

Police cars? In a convoy? You heard that right, Oxcart Permit Systems sponsors the #squadhaul program as part of the convoy. Have your local police department put their squad car on a trailer and enter a contest to win $1,000.00 cash for the coolest truck/police car combination. The police cars stay on the trailer for the whole convoy.

If you can’t make it to the August 26th convoy date, Special Olympics is hosting two more convoys. September 9th, 2017 from 5:30 pm in the evening to 8:00 pm, CIT Trucks in Troy, Illinois will be hosting a convoy. This convoy travels down I-55 and 270 for about 25 miles. There is no #squadhaul for the Troy convoy.

October 7th, 2017 in Tinley Park is the last opportunity in 2017 to participate. The hours are from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm starting at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater and runs from I-80 and I-57, about 25 miles. This convoy will be similar to the one at the Sears Centre, and offers the opportunity to participate in the #squadhaul.

These events are a great opportunity to raise funds for the Special Olympics program. But they serve more than that purpose. The convoy is also an opportunity for kids to see some cool trucks up close, as well as an opportunity for police officers and the communities they serve to get together on good terms.

You can register for any of the convoys by clicking here.

Please consider participating in one of the convoys, or just come out to one of the events to meet some cool cops, cooler truck drivers, and support the Special Olympics of Illinois.  Help bring the cats and dogs together for a good cause.

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#squadhaul

There are moments in life when things combine which restore a person’s faith in humanity. Peanut butter and chocolate. Michael Jordan and a basketball.  The internet and Pokemon (sorry).  Police departments and trucking companies…and there it is. Right to heart of the matter. Coming on August 27th, 2016, the greatest opportunity in recent years for law enforcement and the carrier industry to hook up for a great cause will happen in Hoffman Estates, IL. It’s called #squadhaul, and there is big prize money on the line for those who participate.

For several years, the Illinois Truck Enforcement Association has partnered with the Illinois Special Olympics as part of the World’s Largest Truck Convoy. Special Olympics is a massive organization nationwide designed to provide athletic opportunities to kids and adults with special needs. There are many aspects of Special Olympics, and one department of the charity is the Law Enforcement Torch Run.

Within the Law Enforcement Torch Run there are many fundraising event such as the Polar Plunge, the Dunkin’ Donuts Cop on Rooftop, the Illinois Plane Pull, and the World’s Largest Truck Convoy. Each of these events encourages police departments statewide to participate in some of the most fun benevolent activities around.

The original Convoy continues to be held in Tinley Park, IL as it has for many years. Due to geographic constraints, the ITEA convinced the Illinois Special Olympics to host a second Convoy in the north and northwest suburbs of the Chicago area. In response, the first Hoffman Estates Convoy was conducted in 2015 with great success and over 80 trucks participating! It was such a success a third Convoy was added this year in downstate Troy, IL!

But only, only, only at the Hoffman Estates Convoy on Saturday, August 27th will you find #squadhaul.

What is #squadhaul, you ask? #squadhaul is a new initiative designed to bring local police departments and their local trucking companies together for the Convoy. While the police historically have participated in the Convoy for logistical support and traffic control, it was evident they could play a bigger role.

To enter the #squadhaul competition, a police department needs to partner with a local trucking company to carry a marked squad car atop a flatbed, lowboy, drop deck or any other appropriately sized trailer, or a roll-back carrier tow truck. The goal here is to have within the convoy a line of commercial vehicles hauling marked squad cars all lit-up bright and blue.

What’s the incentive? If participating in a fun, unique event for a good cause is not enough, there is a $1000 cash prize for the winner, courtesy of Oxcart Permit Systems, LLC.  Each truck driver and police officer participating in the event will be entered to win the drawing. Not a $1000 television. Not $1000 in gift certificates to your favorite nail salon. $1000 cold hard cash.

To sign up for #squadhaul, visit the Illinois Special Olympics website by clicking HERE. The cost is $100 for the trucker and $50 for the police officer’s squad car. Being part of the Convoy is great time of fun and camaraderie between two of the most honorable and noble professions in Illinois. Sign up today and help be a part of something bigger for those who need it.

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4th Annual ITEA Conference – #ProtectTheIndustry

A ridiculous stereotype portrayed by the media is the rogue “Dirty Harry” policeman persona. After shooting a victim, police officers do not stand on a suspect’s throat to mete out revenge. Once a threat has ceased, the police officer must do everything he can to save the life of the person he just shot. His duty and responsibility has just done a 180. On January 7th, 2015, the ITEA is hosting its 4th Annual Conference to show how and why the police should use their enforcement authority to protect the trucking industry.

It’s only fair for the carriers and companies who play by the rules to know law enforcement is seeking out those who undercut legitimate business. Being a “good company” is not a get-out-of-jail-free card for inerrant law breaking, but the expectation for truck enforcement officers to protect them is reasonable.

This means choosing not to use enforcement tactics which exceed the authority of a police officer, even if the carrier deserves it. It means professionally addressing erroneous methodologies and tactics. It means choosing to stand up and do the right thing no matter what. Every time.

The theme for the conference this year is #ProtectTheIndustry. It’s a hashtag the ITEA will be using on social media for the next two months (by the way, it’s also the promotional code discount for our CMV interdiction class December 15-17, 2014…be there!).

What better symbol of police protection is there than a pistol? It has been customary at our conferences in the past to have charity raffles for different electronics and other items…and it will continue! The grand prize this year will be a firearm. What kind? Guess you will need to come and see for yourself!

Also new this year will be the presentation of the first Glenn Strebel award. You can read more about the award by clicking HERE. This recipient is not the officer who wrote the biggest overweight fine. It is not the officer who wrote the most overweight citations. It is the officer who used his enforcement authority to protect the industry.

There will be donuts and coffee in the morning, and lunch provided later in the day. In between is a roster of speakers who set themselves apart in both law enforcement and trucking.

Sergeant Lance Bonney | Illinois State Police
Sgt. Bonney currently serves as the ISP Deputy Chief of Staff and is one of the lead CVSA instructors for Illinois. In 2015, there are several new and complex laws coming which will impact truck enforcement efforts. Sgt. Bonney will be going through these laws in detail and their appropriate application on the street.

Hope Rivenburg | Jason’s Law
In 2009, Hope’s husband Jason was murdered in his semi. Her amazing journey from grief to lobbying Congress for millions of dollars to provide safe truck parking. Money which is available to local government.

Geno Koehler | Illinois Department of Transportation
Geno has been employed by IDOT for nearly 30 years and has served in many different roles including emergency management and now as the Permit Chief. Geno has overseen the implementation of ITAP since its inception 2013. There are big updates in the works and Geno will be going over them.

Katie Herriott | World’s Largest Truck Convoy, Special Olympics Illinois
For the last ten years, Special Olympics has brought the World’s Largest Truck Convoy to Illinois to benefit Special Olympics. There is no other benevolent event in Illinois which brings both the trucking industry and law enforcement together for a great cause. Come hear the plans to make the convoy an even bigger event in 2015, and how the ITEA is helping.

Ray Herndon | Diamondback Specialized CMV Training
This past January, Ray was unable to speak at our conference due to a last minute federal subpeona, but he will be back this January! As a career interdiction officer, and a career owner of a trucking company, Ray brings a unique perspective to commercial vehicle interdiction. You do not want to miss his 3-day class this December in Carol Stream, and you do not want to miss this presentation.

It’s going to be a great day packed with a lot of food, fun and critical information. The conference is open to all law enforcement and trucking industry professionals at the full rate of $75. If you are a member of the ITEA or a select group of trucking associations, the conference is discounted to $50. Register now by contacting the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy at 630-942-6277.

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In memory of Trooper James Sauter

There is nothing that rattles the soul of a police officer quite like the disturbing news that one of their own has lost their life in the line of duty.  It is a known risk all take when they sign up for the job, but the reality is everyone hopes and prays it is not them that has to pay the ultimate sacrifice.

With great sadness on Friday March 29th the Illinois law enforcement community learned the devastating news that Illinois State Trooper James Sauter was killed on I-294 after a collision with a semi-tractor trailer combination.  The details of the event are unclear and unknown at this time, but what is clear is the pain his family must suffer while coping with the tragedy.

There are no earthly, temporal remedies to make this situation better.   However, the law enforcement and trucking communities rallying together to financially support the family of Trooper Sauter will speak volumes.  As this organization consciously straddles the divide between trucking and enforcement, it has become clear that the industry is highly supportive of police operations and has deep compassion for the dangers of the job.

It was after the tragic loss of ISP Trooper Deatherage in 2012 that the ITEA realized there was piece of the benevolence puzzle missing when a police officer loses his or her life in the line of duty.  The shock and devastation felt by surviving family members and the victims agency leave little in the way of human resources to devote to logistical items like fundraising.  It is apparent, however, that the first few days after the tragedy is when most people are most willing to open their hearts to contribute. Yet there are few avenues available to meet that end.

The ITEA will champion this cause until a formal memorial fund can be established by the family of Trooper Sauter.  The ITEA will continue to stand in that gap for future Illinois police officers who pay the ultimate sacrifice.  There are many localized benevolent groups doing great works in their communities  and the ITEA applauds those efforts.  But what happens when there is a tragedy that transcends local boundaries?  Who is organizing those efforts?  There is a need and the ITEA has the ability to meet that need. The ITEA will seize that opportunity to shoulder the weight of this task.

The amount of money is not what is important.  It is not a financial problem we have.  Americans are incredibly wealthy and resourced in comparison to the rest of the world.  More importantly, we are a extremely generous people.  Unfortunately there is a logistical problem in that people who want to contribute at the peak of their own sorrow and grief do not have an outlet.  What is needed is a convenient and rapid way to mobilize charitable efforts for fallen officers within the first 12-24 hours from the time of the incident.

The ITEA has the infrastructure, resolve and dedicated people to make this happen.  It was available after the loss of Trooper Deatherage, but the method to utilize it was still unclear.  In response, the ITEA began the process of establishing the ITEA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) to answer this call.  Unfortunately the death of Trooper Sauter came before that process was complete.

At the time of this publication, the ITEA has received $925 in addition to the $500 the ITEA seeded the initiative with.  Thank you to those who have so generously given. Please keep the family of Trooper Sauter in your prayers.

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Human Trafficking Conference for Law Enforcement

One of the challenges of running an organization like the Illinois Truck Enforcement Association is determining where to set up boundaries as to what the association will get involved with. Law enforcement and trucking are both complex and have vast amounts of side projects. They are all worthy and need attention, but it’s impossible to be everything to everyone.

In the fall of 2011, the ITEA became aware of an non-profit organization called Truckers Against Trafficking. TAT has a mission to combat human trafficking (HT) through education of the trucking industry. The model of TAT was inspiring to the ITEA, as it became readily apparent HT education for local and state law enforcement in Illinois was barely noticeable. That is about to change.

On February 15th, 2013, the ITEA, along with TAT, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, Mid-west Truckers Association, the Illinois Trucking Association, Harper College Law Enforcement & Justice Administration, and the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy will partner together to host the first ever Human Trafficking Conference for Law Enforcement. This one-day, 8-hour class is totally FREE and will be hosted at Harper College in Palatine, IL. There is no cost for a reason…there is no motive for participating other than to raise awareness and education for law enforcement. Sometimes fees for events mean someone is trying to capitalize on a cause. Not the case here. The motive of all these groups participating is pure.

Second only to drug trafficking, human trafficking is the second biggest moneymaker in the world. The vast majority of victims enslaved are females, some as young as 12 years old. Let’s not kid ourselves. This is not a foreign problem. Young girls and women trafficked in the United States are not all imported here. Girls are scooped off the streets of our nation. Men sell their own families into slavery. It’s disgusting. Watch this video produced by TAT…this could be your daughter. This could be your wife. This could be your mother.

The private sector has begun to mobilize behind large scale federal and international efforts. In 2011, Google donated nearly $12MM to the cause. Grass roots organizations like TAT have sprung up to fight HT on specific battlefronts. The US Departments of State, Justice, Homeland Security, Health & Human Services all have programs to fight HT. What are the states doing? What is local law enforcement doing?

Many times training classes for local and state law enforcement offer classes about niche topics. While interesting and educational, the fact is the majority of street cops will rarely have a chance to employ the training. Human trafficking is not a whole lot different…except it is. Most local towns do not have problems with sex trafficking out in the open on the street. It is hidden. ..but it is alive and well in your community. The backpage ads, the chat rooms, the dating websites, and the porn industry are built on girls in slavery. This is not “Pretty Woman”. This is not choice-driven prostitution to earn money for college. This is not garden variety vice. This is abuse. This is modern day slavery. This is an unconscionable crime against humanity.

There is no percentage in laws if there is not enforcement to support them. Local and state police agencies need to change the perspective on sex crimes. Our awareness is low. Our training is low. Our compassion is low. The time has come to ramp up how we respond and pro-actively root this out of our communities. The time has come for conviction. This is why we wear a badge.

It starts with you signing up for free training. It does not matter if you are sworn or civilian, if you are administration or on the road, or what your assignment is. It is time to fight.

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Breaker 1-9

Nothing evokes the personification of American trucking like the word “convoy”. The movie, the song, and the CB handles have lived on for decades in this country since the popularity of the industry reached an all-time high in the mid-1970’s. On Saturday October 6th, 2012, the Illinois Truck Enforcement Association is partnering with the Special Olympics/Law Enforcement Torch Run to bring the World’s Largest Truck Convoy to Illinois. Illinois joins twenty-two other states and four Canadian provinces hosting this event. The ITEA is calling you to action…step out and make a difference!

Hey – did you notice the economy of the United States is a huge mess? Everyone is in this together. No one – regardless of occupation, social status or faith values – has been able to avoid the fallout of this crisis. Charitable giving has seen a decrease in giving as well, but ironically the margin is small compared to what has happened to the economy as a whole. As times goes on, the scholars will study this phenomenon and explain why a nation on the brink of bankruptcy continues to give selflessly. Maybe the answer is simple as…Americans are generous. For all the global negativism America receives about its decadence, a study comparing the philanthropic nature of the USA would be a welcome relief.

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