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WIU, City of East St. Louis Partnership May 13, 2014

Western Illinois University and the City of East St. Louis have entered into a partnership that will provide law enforcement training and educational opportunities for individuals in the St. Louis area through the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board Executive Institute (ILETSBEI), which is housed at WIU. As part of the partnership, WIU Admissions Counselor D'Angelo Taylor, who is also a WIU alumnus, will staff a new office in the East St. Louis City Hall building and will serve the greater St. Louis area, beginning in August.

"We are pleased and excited to enter into this partnership with the City of East St. Louis. This partnership demonstrates our core values of academic excellence, educational opportunity, personal growth and social responsibility, as we are providing access to a quality and affordable college education and training programs," said WIU President Jack Thomas. "The law enforcement institute at WIU and the University's School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration offer superior educational and training opportunities, which will serve to improve the quality of life in this metropolitan area."

Gary Biller, vice president of student services at WIU, noted that one of Western's admissions and recruiting goals is to have an increased presence in the greater St. Louis area. This partnership allows the University to recruit high quality, outstanding students from the entire St. Louis metropolitan area and surrounding region.

"We are grateful to the City of East St. Louis for providing us the location to reach out to all of the four million residents of the greater St. Louis area," Biller added. "We look forward to working with these residents to help them reach the educational opportunities offered by one of the premier universities in the state of Illinois. We are an enthusiastic partner in helping students from this area to achieve their educational ambitions."

According to East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks, this partnership will serve to bolster and provide credibility, depth and the reach to accomplish the task of improving the general conditions of the city, while allowing Western to expand its programs into the St. Louis metropolitan area.

"The City of East St. Louis is elated to welcome Western Illinois University as its newest public entity. We anticipate that Western Illinois University will play a very large role in establishing East St. Louis as a center of excellence, and we believe that Western's leadership status as one of the top law enforcement schools in the country and the top law enforcement school in the state will bring resources and expertise to help us revolutionize law enforcement in East St. Louis," Parks added. "In addition, WIU brings possibilities and assistance with economic development and community development that will truly help to build out and build up East St. Louis. We look forward to a bountiful and long-standing relationship with Western Illinois University in the City of East St. Louis."

The law enforcement training and continuing education program, which is among other proposed initiatives between the two entities, will provide training and classroom instruction (on-site and via distance learning) for current law enforcement officers in the region.

According to City Treasurer Joe Lewis, Jr., the Metro East communities have critical law enforcement talent, training and resource issues.

"This partnership gives the City of East St Louis and other police departments in the Metro East the opportunity to present a game plan for rebuilding the forces, as well as provide law enforcement techniques that are cutting edge," Lewis said.

According to Susan Nichols, director of the ILETSBEI, the institute will provide innovative professional development education and training, along with technical assistance.

"Law enforcement leaders face numerous challenges. This partnership will enhance the East St. Louis Police Department's mission of providing professional law enforcement services to the community," she added. "We look forward to working with the city and other partners within the Metro East region."

The partnership was initiated and facilitated by Western Illinois University Alumnus Tye Taylor and THE Consulting Group Ltd, LLC.

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