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Press Release - Friday, April 01, 2022

Springfield, IL - To celebrate a century of service to the people of Illinois, the Illinois State Police (ISP) held an Uncasing and Activation of the Official Colors Ceremony on April 1, 2022, marking the official 100th year anniversary. ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly, ISP Command Officers, retired ISP Directors, ISP Heritage Foundation, honorable dignitaries, ISP Honor Guard, the 144th Illinois National Guard Band, ISP officers and employees, along with their families, joined to commemorate the history of the ISP and honor a century of fallen officers.

"The work of our Illinois State Police, now 3,000 strong, strengthens the people and places that make Illinois special, just like that first group of courageous troopers 100 years ago," said Governor JB Pritzker. "It's why I've been proud to make historic investments in ISP under the leadership of Director Brendan Kelly, setting the foundation for the ISP's next century. Of course, the single greatest resource of our state police is the men and women who live to serve. I am so grateful for their service."

Over the years, ISP has worked tens of thousands of crime scenes, performed hundreds of thousands of forensic analyses, conducted thousands of background checks, processed more than 2 million FOID cards, responded to millions of calls for service, and performed countless acts of enforcement, assistance, and protection across Illinois.  Almost 8,000 Illinois State Police Troopers, and likely more than 10,000 professional staff have served or are serving ISP.  It is the men and women of the ISP who embrace the values of integrity, service, and pride, that make up one of the premier law enforcement agencies in the country.

"Together we all seek safety, we all seek freedom, and we all seek justice. But there is no safety, there is no freedom, there is no justice, without the law, and there is no law without law enforcement. And there is no law enforcement without selfless and brave souls like those who serve in the Illinois State Police," said Director Brendan F. Kelly. "I am honored to be the Director of one of the greatest law enforcement agencies in the country and stand beside those who serve and protect our great state. Together we will move forward into the second century improving public safety in Illinois with integrity, service, and pride."

On June 24, 1921, the 52nd General Assembly of the State of Illinois authorized the Department of Public Works and Buildings to hire a "sufficient number of State Highway Patrol Officers to enforce the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Laws." The Illinois State Police was officially formed in 1922, consisting of eight officers patrolling on surplus World War I Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The ISP has since grown and evolved into what it is today - a nationally recognized, premier law enforcement, public safety, and criminal justice agency. Beginning in 1922, each era has built upon the efforts and accomplishments of the previous era, embarking upon a journey of continuous improvement and excellence.

The ISP currently has approximately 1,800 officers and 1,000 civilian employees. Over the years, the ISP has continually changed in size and organizational structure to provide an increased number of services in the most efficient manner to the people of Illinois. Today, the ISP is comprised of the Office of the Director, Division of Academy and Training, Division of Criminal Investigations, Division of Forensic Services, Division of Internal Investigations, Division of Justice Services, Division of Patrol, and the Division of Statewide 911. ISP personnel and uniformed officers are located throughout the state to provide comprehensive law enforcement services to the public and many municipal, county, and federal law enforcement agencies.

Governor JB Pritzker's proposed ISP budget for Fiscal Year 2023 will be the largest in ISP history and will allow for an additional 300 new Troopers, the largest single year cadet allocation in history.  The Governor's proposed budget also continues to increase the number of Illinois State Police forensic scientists and evidence technicians.  Additionally, more than $100 million has been dedicated to ISP facilities, including building a new state-of-the-art crime lab near Joliet and opening another in Decatur.  

The ISP recognizes the contributions of all employees who have made progress towards the pursuit of diversity, equity, and inclusion. As the evolution of policing continues, the ISP will look for ways to increase its commitment to ensure all are treated with fairness and equity. The ISP will carry out the mission in the coming years by growing a diverse force, reflecting the community in which it serves.
The ceremony closed by paying tribute to the 71 fallen ISP Officers who gave their lives to protect the people of Illinois over the last 100 years. These brave individuals were more than police officers, they were part of a family. Each served with distinction and went to work each day knowing the possibility of making the ultimate sacrifice, while dedicating their life to protecting the people of Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Central Management Services Office of Communication and Information video recording of the Uncasing Colors Ceremony can be found by clicking on this link:

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