In 1987, the Illinois State Police became the first state police organization in the
United States to bring the stirring sounds of traditional Celtic music to mark
significant events for the department or for the men and women who work there. Since that
time, kilted marchers stepping off a rousing tune have become a traditional start for the
graduations of cadets and recruits at the academy or for ribbon cuttings, conference
openings, or other ceremonies. The pipes and drums have been present too, to help say a
final farewell to sworn and civilian members of the ISP family or their loved ones with
the strains of "Amazing Grace" and other hymns.
The Pipes and Drums of the ISP, a non-profit group that operates
under its own charter, does its best to respond to the requests it receives each year
from local law enforcement agencies, civic groups, and others. The members of the
Pipes and Drums including agency employees, retirees, or outside volunteers, fulfill many
of these requests on their own time and at their own expense. They also pay the costs of
their instruments and of their Scottish regalia with their own money or with funds the
band has raised.
The band no longer performs in parades; but it is honored to assist at
the funerals of law enforcement officers around the state, whether employed by local,
county, state, or federal agencies. We also consider requests from public agencies and
such groups as Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Crimefighters, and others.
To request the band's services, contact Lieutenant Steven
Riesenberg at (815) 844-1505.