This past month, local law enforcement officers rose to the challenge and completed the ITEA’s signature Advanced Truck Enforcement Officer training. This 40-hour training class went above and beyond any basic class they previously encountered. Curriculum presented included the nitty-gritty of overweight and over-dimension permitting, Illinois Vehicle Code equipment and overweight violations, and Secretary of State Commercial Driver’s License and Registration law. What these officers may not have picked up on is that their exposure to this knowledge has great ramifications, beyond themselves and their departments.
It can be very easy for police officer to get into a professional rut. After an officer becomes comfortable in his job, he can come and go without thought and yet possibly be very effective, for a time.
Supervisors see new truck officers as being productive and give the proverbial thumbs up. Co-workers see their ability to be productive (and give another proverbial sign…of disgust), and employers see the same ability to be produce and they make a mental note of the efforts.
And all is well. Or is it?
Charlie “Tremendous” Jones put it well when he said “Five years from today, you will be the same person that you are today, except the books you read and the people you meet.”
The officers who chose to further develop and expose themselves to a larger knowledge base are ensuring they will not be the same person the following week.
They are ensuring their department’s enforcement practices will operate on the cutting edge of new case law, vehicle code and administrative code interpretations by the highest of Illinois State agencies.
The communities where the officers work will benefit by having a local enforcement expert with a broad knowledge base.
Trucking companies traversing the officer’s patrol area can rest assured they are not going to suffer consequences of poor or inaccurate enforcement practices.
Everyone remembers the short NBC public service announcements starting in the early 90s. Some notable public figure would give a tidbit of enlightening information titled “THE MORE YOU KNOW (dum dum dum dum)” and captivate the viewer until their TV show came back on.
These public service announcements have been parodied in everything from Saturday Night Live to Family Guy, but this idea is not something to be discounted. Exposure to literature, colleagues or instructors, who are more knowledgeable than themselves, is not only good for personal growth but critical for professional growth.
The Illinois Truck Enforcement Association could be one of those sources for you, your police department, or your company.
What have you done lately to not be the same person you were 5 years ago?