Suburban Law Enforcement Academy FAQs

When was SLEA certified as a Police Academy in Illinois?

SLEA was established in 1994 in a collaborative partnership between the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (ILETSB), the DuPage Chiefs of Police, and College of DuPage. Below are archived minutes from the ILETSB Meetings in which the SLEA Academy was proposed and ultimately approved by the Board.


Why was SLEA created?

SLEA was created after the DuPage County Chiefs of Police identified the need to establish a suburban law enforcement academy in DuPage County to meet the training needs of the area.

Who has governance over SLEA?

By Illinois statute (50 ILCS 705), the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board has governance over each of the state’s six police academies.

The following are the authorized police academies within the state of Illinois:

  • Suburban Law Enforcement Academy
  • Southwestern Illinois College
  • Police Training Institute
  • Cook County Sheriff’s
  • Chicago Police Department
  • Illinois State Police

Additionally, College of DuPage has administrative and fiscal oversight of SLEA.

How long is the SLEA basic training program?

SLEA currently offers a 14-week training program (560 hours). This is based on the extended curriculum approved by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board. The requirement for becoming a police officer in the state of Illinois is currently 480 hours.

What must a police recruit achieve to graduate from the SLEA program?

Recruits must achieve a passing grade of 70 percent in their weekly tests, as well as successfully complete the State of Illinois certification test which is administered and scored by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board.

How are the police recruits evaluated during the SLEA program?

Police recruits are evaluated by instructors, role players and class supervisors. During weeks 4, 9 and 13, the class supervisors prepare a written evaluation on each recruit. The evaluation is then shared with the recruit’s parent agency.

What does it cost to send a police recruit to SLEA?

The current tuition at SLEA is $3,735, which covers all of the recruit’s training needs during the 14-week program. The tuition is set by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board.

Who establishes the cost of tuition for the SLEA program?

The Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board mandates the cost of tuition for all six police academies within the state of Illinois.

Who pays the tuition for the SLEA police recruits?

Agencies/communities budget training costs into their annual budgets.  After the recruit successfully completes the academy, the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board then reimburses the cost of the tuition.

Are SLEA recruits offered housing on campus at College of DuPage?

No.  College of DuPage is a community college and does not have housing or dormitories on campus.  Housing for recruits may be obtained through an extended stay hotel.

Where does the tuition for police academies in the state of Illinois come from?

The tuition for the police recruits that is reimbursed by the ILETSB comes from the Illinois Traffic Surcharge Fund.

Are SLEA police recruits considered students by the College of DuPage?

Yes.  They are considered students during the time they are attending the SLEA Program at College of DuPage.

Do SLEA police recruits receive College credits for completing the Academy?

Currently, SLEA recruits do not receive college credits.  They can apply for credit for prior learning experience from Benedictine University and receive up to 18 hours of College credit.

Do other police academies associated with a College or University within the state of Illinois provide College credit to their police recruits?

Yes.  Three other police academies in the State of Illinois have direct affiliations with colleges and universities. Southwestern Illinois College, the Police Training Institute, and the Cook County Sheriff’s Department are located on a college or university campus, and the police recruits can obtain college credit for attending the police academy. 

How many police departments does SLEA serve?

The six police academies in the State of Illinois deliver the same curriculum; therefore SLEA can train recruits from any law enforcement agency in the State of Illinois. However, typically SLEA recruits come from police agencies from DuPage, Kane, Cook, Will, Kendall and Kane Counties.

There are 222 police departments that use the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy for Basic Training.  View list of agencies

Since 1994, SLEA has serviced more than 1,000 agencies for the police academy and continuing education classes, including local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies as well as coroner offices, fire departments and other first responder groups from Illinois and other mid-western states.

How many police recruits have graduated from SLEA since 1994?

SLEA has graduated more than 3,330 police recruits and has provided continuing education for approximately 28,700 police officers since 1994.

Who are the instructors that teach at SLEA?

The instructors at SLEA are either current or retired police officers with years of practical experience and expertise. In order to be selected as an instructor, the candidate must submit their application to the College of DuPage Human Resources Department for vetting. If they are approved to be hired by the College, they must submit their qualifications to the Executive Director of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board for certification as instructors.

Who hires the SLEA instructors?

The College of DuPage hires instructors to teach at SLEA. Those instructors must also be approved by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board.

Is the Director of SLEA selected by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board?

No.  SLEA’s Director is selected and hired by the College of DuPage. The Director’s role is to ensure all requirements for the Academy are met while ensuring adherence to the College of DuPage’s mission and commitment to the community.

Who pays the salaries of the Director and administrative personnel for SLEA?

The staff at SLEA is employed by the College of DuPage and their salaries are paid for by the College just as any other employee of the College.

Are Continuing Education courses at College of DuPage submitted to the state of Illinois for apportionment?

No.  Continuing Education courses at College of DuPage are focused on providing specific training to professionals in numerous occupations and do not receive apportionment from the state. The courses are aimed at providing community members with educational opportunities in a diverse range of courses.

Who is responsible for SLEA at College of DuPage?

The SLEA Director oversees the day to day administrative operations of SLEA.  The SLEA Director reports directly to the Associate Dean of the Homeland Security Training Institute.  SLEA is a department within the Continuing Education program at College of DuPage, which is overseen by the Dean of Continuing Education.

What is the SLEA Advisory Committee?

SLEA’s Advisory Committee is made up of law enforcement and municipal executives who provide guidance and direction to SLEA.  The SLEA Advisory Council meets on a semi-annual basis.

How often is the SLEA program reviewed by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board?

On a yearly basis, SLEA along with the other police academies in the State must have their courses certified by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board. The Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board also conduct periodic reviews of each of the academies.  The most recent review of SLEA conducted by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board was conducted in August 2016.

Why is it appropriate to classify SLEA under the Continuing Education program at College of DuPage?

The SLEA program fits within the educational scope of the Continuing Education Program at College of DuPage. Whether for personal development, professional advancement or life enhancement, Continuing Education can provide the perfect learning experience. Classes and workshops for adults and youth are designed in Continuing Education to meet a variety of educational needs and to provide a multitude of educational experiences. Since the SLEA recruits are considered non-traditional students in an educational program and are seeking professional advancement, the program fits within the vision and the mission of Continuing Education.

Are SLEA recruits included in the College of DuPage’s enrollment report?

Everyone enrolling in Continuing Education courses, programs, and events at College of DuPage are considered students. Non-credit course student enrollments do not appear in the institutional credit 10th day enrollment figures at College of DuPage. Though not included in credit 10th Day enrollment figures reported to the ICCB, as a best practice, all non-credit enrollments and students served through Continuing Education are recorded at the institutional level.

Are SLEA personnel hired by the College of DuPage?

Yes. All staff at SLEA are selected and hired by the College of DuPage and are College employees. While the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board is the state agency that has standards authority over all six police academies in the state they do not have authority over nor pay the salaries of the employees at the six academies.

Does College of DuPage receive apportionment funding from the state of Illinois for enrolled SLEA recruits?

Currently, SLEA students do not receive college credit, thus the College of DuPage does not submit apportionment claims to the state of Illinois for these students.

Are SLEA recruits classified as tuition paying students at College of DuPage?

Yes. SLEA recruits are considered students while attending College of DuPage. Their tuition for the educational program that they participate in at COD is paid for by their municipal police departments. They pay tuition just as any credit or non-credit student pays while attending College of DuPage.

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Suburban Law Enforcement Academy (SLEA) at College of DuPage

425 Fawell Blvd.

Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Voice: (630) 942-2677
Fax:    (630) 942-3766

  2017 College of DuPage