The Illinois State Police is looking for new recruits, but the agency’s new director says there are some challenges ahead and internal debates about future qualifications.
ISP Acting Director Brendan Kelly said the agency is short about 500 workers, both sworn officers and civilians. He said the agency is starting to recruit now for a class that begins in April and looking for recruits for a class in October.
But there are challenges.
“These are difficult jobs to recruit in a good economy, but also it’s a difficult point in our history when it comes to community relations and law enforcement so Illinois State Police is being very proactive about improving our recruiting,” Kelly said.
Another challenge he said is getting the proposed budget passed with $7.6 million for the two new cadet classes with 100 recruits each.
“We’re getting the resources to do that if we’re able to get this budget passed, but in the long term we also have to make sure that we’re reaching into every neighborhood of Illinois to reflect the people of the state of Illinois,” Kelly said.
As to qualifications, Kelly said there’s an ongoing internal debate “about whether or not that four-year requirement for education is something that is appropriate for new recruits.”
Right now the qualifications say those with certain prior military experience could have some of the education requirements waived.
“Maybe [the education requirement] is something that’s appropriate for promotion later on in the career,” Kelly said. “But there’s a huge pool of applicants out there that we are potentially missing as a result of that requirement so we’re having a debate about that and that’s something that we’ll continue to talk about and make a decision in the future.”
To apply, visit IllinoisTrooper.com.