In the Illinois State Police's early days, training efforts were primarily devoted
to pistol practice, "drill" and motorcycle operation. Today, ISP cadets
must successfully complete 26 weeks of training which balances classroom
instruction, physical skills training, and integrated practicals. Cadets
receive compensation for training. Normally, their first paycheck is received
two to four weeks after they enter the Academy.
To further enhance the cadet learning experience, the Academy implemented
the Cadet Learning Advocacy and Cadet Enrichment Programs. The Learning Advocacy
Program provides consistent learning support and is designed to improve cadets'
decision making skills. The Cadet Enrichment Program provides special "enrichment"
activities for those cadets who already possess some knowledge, skills or abilities
taught in the cadet program. Both programs exemplify the Academy's ongoing commitment
to adult learning principles.
Placed throughout the training are competency-based authentic
assessment practicals which involve role players acting out different types
of situations. Authentic assessments evaluate the cadets' performance on
the basis of their demonstrated knowledge, skills and abilities. These
practicals are designed to provide the cadets with a realistic view of
situations they may soon face. The exercises include officer safety, traffic
stops, domestic calls and civil disorder.
After successful completion of 26 weeks of training, the cadets are sworn-in
as Illinois State Troopers during a formal ceremony which the cadets'
families are invited to attend. The new troopers continue their one-year
probationary period by reporting to their assigned district and
participating in the Field Training Officer (FTO) program. The FTO's are
experienced ISP officers who assist the probationary troopers with their
transition from the Academy to the field. The probationary troopers will
ride with at least three separate FTO's during the 14-week program. Once
they successfully complete the program, they can begin patrolling alone.
Their training now becomes their "silent partner" who will be with them
each shift for the rest of their career.
"Training to become the best involves your dedication and determination.
The training at the Illinois State Police Academy is a demanding twenty-six
weeks, but the rewards will last a lifetime..." CADET #4953