Illinois State Police Agency History

The Illinois State Police began in 1922 and in 2022 will celebrate 100 years of service to the citizens of Illinois. The single constant, amid all the changes, is the people, bound through the centuries, aligned in a continuum from the first trooper to the unborn employee of tomorrow, by integrity, service, and pride.

What was it like during those early years? And the years that followed? Click on the links below and discover for yourself.


Illinois State Police Yearbook, 1972

Illinois State Police Yearbook, 1997, 75th Anniversary Edition

1999: duty weapon and star changes

Two of the biggest changes occurred in 1999 involving Illinois State Police signature components:  duty weapon and star.  Troopers began carrying the Glock Model 22 and their star displayed the officer’s identification number.

Prior to 1967, officers purchased their own sidearm of choice and were directed by policy to carry either their service weapons or a secondary weapon around the clock.  In 1967, the Illinois State Police became the first major police department in the country to go with the then-controversial 9mm semi-automatic handgun as its standard issued weapon.  Since then, three generations of this model have been carried by troopers and special agents.  The department converted to a new duty weapon as the aging Smith & Wesson Model 5904 was being phased out by the manufacturer and repair costs of the old guns were becoming too costly.

There was a lengthy selection process involving a review of 23 weapons submitted by four manufacturers following a formal bid process.  The guns were tested by a randomly selected group of officers based upon diversity, shooting skills, and shooting hand.  Once the Glock was selected, all officers in the agency participated in 32 hours of transition training.  The in-service training was rolled out over the course of a year.  Today every officer carries the Glock.

Also, in 1999, the 91st General Assembly chose to take a closer look at services and credentials of those state agencies with peace officers.  To address the issue of confusion relating to these agencies, all badges needed to be clearly marked on the front with the name of the agency and an identifying number.  The Illinois State Police star already had the name on the front, but the officer’s identification number was added to the design and issued to all the department’s sworn officers during 2001.

The above information is excerpted from the Illinois State Police Yearbook, 2002.

2005: Illinois Department of Central Management Services Police were merged into the Illinois State Police

In 2005, officers and duties of the Illinois Department of Central Management Services Police were merged into the Illinois State Police.

2009: Scott’s Law

In 2009 Scott’s Law came into effect which requires drivers to slow down and move over when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle.

Illinois State Police Directors

The following served as director of the Illinois State Police during 2000 – present.

  • Sam W. Nolen (1998–2003)
  • Larry G. Trent (2003–2009)
  • Jonathon E. Monken (2009–2011)
  • Hiram Grau (2011–2015)
  • Leo P. Schmitz (2015–2019)
  • Brendan F. Kelly (2019– )