CHICAGO - Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and Illinois State Police (ISP) Director Larry G. Trent announced today that on Sunday, June 19, 2005, 55 applicants have been invited to report to the Illinois State Police Academy to begin training as Cadet Class 110. Each individual received certification by the Illinois State Police Merit Board to attend the intense 26-week training.
The Governor also announced that future recruitment efforts will be enhanced under an Illinois State Police Merit Board rule change that allows veterans' active duty time to count toward the mandatory 3-year education or law enforcement service requirement. The new rule broadens the pool of qualified candidates from which the State Police can recruit while giving former military personnel an opportunity to use their experience to continue serving the public.
"By making this change we are able to tap into a source of well-trained, disciplined individuals who have served our country and are familiar with the sacrifices that come with protecting the public," stated Gov. Blagojevich. "Our returning veterans have experience working in dangerous situations that require quick and concise decisions – skills that are critical to our State Police force."
The Merit Board administrative rule change became effective June 1, 2005, and allows for an applicant's education to be considered acceptable if they have either an Associate's Degree or equivalent and 3 years continuous, full time service as a police officer with the same police agency or 3 years active military duty. The addition of military service as an option of work experience provides an opportunity for many veterans to join the State Police and begin a career in law enforcement. "This is the right thing to do now for our service men, State Police and the people of Illinois," said Merit Board Chairman John Rednour.
The challenges of a career in law enforcement are evident. Officers must be willing to sacrifice their time with family and friends and an average workday can be risky and sometimes life threatening.
"We are always looking for qualified individuals who are willing to take the necessary steps to join our organization,” said Illinois State Police Director Larry Trent. "As a veteran, I am pleased the Merit Board took this step to broaden the pool of qualified candidates to protect and serve the citizens of Illinois."
Since January 2003, 115 new officers have joined the ranks of the Illinois State Police. Cadet Class 110 will be the second class to go through training during Fiscal Year 2005.
During the 26 weeks of training, Cadets will undergo a rigorous regimen of physical and classroom instruction which includes training in Terrorism Awareness, Domestic Violence, Critical Incident Response, Firearms Training, First Responder Certification, Illinois Vehicle Code, Criminal Law, Motor Carrier Safety, Emergency Pursuit Driving, Juvenile Law, Police Response to Mental Illness, and more. Upon graduating from the Academy, the officers will be assigned to districts across the state.
"We've been working to enhance public safety by strengthening our laws and investing in initiatives that prevent people from returning to a life of crime or getting involved with criminals in the first place. But one of the most important components of maintaining the people of Illinois' safety is having enough well-trained officers on duty to protect the public. I want to congratulate this new class of men and women for making the commitment to become State Police officers and thank them for dedicating their careers to serving the public," said Gov. Blagojevich.
"I firmly believe the ISP Merit Board has selected an outstanding group of men and women who are committed to excellence and the high standards of the ISP in Cadet Class 110," Director Trent added.
The recruitment process is an ongoing, statewide effort. Coordinators travel throughout the state to discuss employment opportunities and provide detailed information about testing and the subsequent selection process. The Merit Board's hiring process consists of the following steps: orientation, a fitness and written suitability test, background investigation, oral interview and final certification to the ISP. Applicants remain in the pool for a period of approximately one year from the time of their orientation, or until a cadet class is scheduled, and the selection process has begun, whichever comes first. All steps in this process are mandatory and cannot be rescheduled for any reason.
Any person interested in becoming a State Trooper may apply by submitting a Pre-Employment Inquiry Application to the Merit Board. A Pre-Employment Inquiry Application may be requested by calling the Merit Board at (217) 786-6240 or may be completed on-line at www.illinoistrooper.com.