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Public Accountability Report Public Accountability Report

2020 Arson
Mission Statement To provide fire investigation and law enforcement services to the citizens of the State of Illinois through complete and thorough investigations, evidence collection, and professional expert testimony in court proceedings.
Program Goals and Objectives
  1. Conduct fire investigations to assist fire departments and local governments with expertise and case management through to a successful conclusion.
    1. Provide 24-hour service to fire departments that request the assistance of an arson investigator for fires known or suspected to be arson.
    2. Conduct arson investigations through a network of trained and certified arson investigators who are geographically dispersed throughout the state. Over two-thirds of the 1,209 fire departments in the state are volunteers and have no arson investigators. Therefore, the sole responsibility lies with this agency in providing those investigations.
    3. Interview suspects and handle case management, including evidence collection and analysis, and work with state's attorneys up to and including trial, through prosecution. (This is routine for all arson fire cases.)
    4. Operate a duty agent program to respond to calls from fire departments and law enforcement 24 hours a day, seven days a week for assistance using the Arson Hotline 800 number and dispatch investigators.
  2. Ensure that all arson investigators have met the statutory requirements for the job, maintain quarterly firearms qualifications on the firing range, and attend agency-provided in-service training on a regular basis.
    1. All arson investigators must be certified through the agency working with the Illinois Federation of Public Employees union (IFPE) to develop mandatory and minimum hours for annual continuing education requirements.
    2. Maintain quarterly firearms training and meet prescribed minimum scores to maintain qualification.
    3. Conduct annual divisional training to stay current with changes in law, court procedures, investigative techniques, fire science, and changes in the field of arson investigation.
  3. Prepare monthly reports to the agency director that include caseload, arrests, training, and other information for tracking increases or decreases in workload, workload distribution among employees, and assessing agency services provided to fire departments in arson investigations.
    1. Investigators must submit divisional reports and forms within 10 days of a fire investigation. This allows management to track activities (including caseloads, arrests, and other case information), expenses, and other requirements to ensure proper operation of the division.
    2. Assistance to state's attorneys, law enforcement, and other related agencies in fires determined to be arson will continue until an arson case is closed or resolved in court.
    3. On a monthly basis, the division will monitor cases that are still opened or closed or resolved.
  4. Assist fire departments and related associations and organizations in the issue of arson investigation to aid in their recognizing and handling suspicious fire scenes until local governments or the state handles the case.
    1. Conduct regional workshops for the benefit of rural and volunteer fire departments to help them identify suspicious fires, protect the scene, and secure evidence that may be used in an arson investigation when the agency is called to investigate. Workshops will be offered on a continual basis.
    2. Respond to individual requests by fire departments or local agencies for information or assistance as it relates to arson scenes.
    3. Participate in professional organizations to help educate fire departments in recognizing and handling fire scenes that may be arson.
  5. Operate a canine unit consisting of specially trained dogs and their handlers who are able to assist in difficult fire investigations by covering large fire or damaged areas to determine the presence of accelerants used to set arson fires.
    1. Operate a program of eight specially trained canines to aid in arson investigation through detection of accelerants used in setting fires.
    2. Maintain proper certifications for the canines and their handlers to ensure credentials that may be vital in successful prosecution of cases. The Agency will enroll the canines and handlers in recognized annual recertification courses.
    3. Provide for the special care and needs of the canines and their handlers in terms of special vehicles, equipment, food, medical care, and related needs.
  6. Foster an effective dialogue, conduct meetings, and discuss the needs and results of the arson program with the insurance industry, state and national associations, and the fire service of Illinois to ensure that the needs of the citizens and our "customers" are being met.
    1. Maintain an effective relationship with the insurance industry as a partner in the mission to reduce fires and the resultant deaths and injuries. Insurance industry representatives have been appointed to standing agency committees.
Source of Funds Fire Prevention Fund Statutory Authority 20 ILCS 2910, 425 ILCS 75
Fiscal Year 2021 Target/Projected Fiscal Year 2020 Actual Fiscal Year 2020 Target/Projected Fiscal Year 2019 Actual Fiscal Year 2018 Actual
Input Indicators
Total expenditures - all sources (in thousands) $ 4,216.4 $ 3,763.1 $ 3,617.8 $ 2,964.8 $ 3,210.2
Total expenditures - state appropriated funds (in thousands) $ 4,216.4 $ 3,763.1 $ 3,617.8 $ 2,964.8 $ 3,210.2
Average monthly full-time equivalents 22 20 21 16 16
Output Indicators
Qualify all arson investigators for firearms use through participation three times a year in hand gun range training 100 % 100 % 100 % 100 % 100 %
Fire investigations 938 958 1,007 811 1,024
Canine investigations 186 198 194 157 176
Outcome Indicators
Arson arrests 53 56 42 45 44

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