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Cadet Applicant Process


 
 

APPLICATION DEADLINES & UPCOMING TESTING


The Illinois State Police Merit Board is accepting applications for a Traditional and a Fast Track Cadet Class. Both classes are tentatively scheduled to begin in June 2025.

 
APPLICATION DEADLINE:
November 1, 2024
 
Testing Dates:
October 5 – Lockport –  RSVP by September 25
October 19 – Springfield –  RSVP by October 9
November 2 – Lockport –  RSVP by October 23
November 16 – Springfield –  RSVP by November 1

Fitness Test & Recruitment Exam will be completed on the same day

 

 

AM I ELIGIBLE TO APPLY?

 

Click the link below to see if you are eligible to apply for the position of
Illinois State Police Trooper.

 

 

 


 

All steps in the Cadet Applicant Process are mandatory and cannot be rescheduled for any reason. Failure to participate in any portion of the process will result in removal from the selection process.  Notifications throughout the Cadet Applicant process will be made by e-mail only.

In order to ensure proper e-mail delivery, please add recruitment@ispmeritboard.org to your e-mail contact list when applying.  Candidates should check “junk” or “spam” folders prior to e-mailing the State Police Merit Board regarding eligibility status.  Any e-mail correspondence with the State Police Merit Board should always include applicant’s full name and the last four digits of applicant’s Social Security number. 


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Fast Track Program Information

FAST TRACK PROGRAM

The Illinois State Police (ISP) Fast Track Program provides an opportunity for current certified police officers to become Illinois State Troopers through participation in an accelerated training program. Fast Track Cadets will receive Trooper 1 pay while in the State Police Academy ($5,973/month, as of 1/1/2024).

 

Fast Track Program Eligibility

1. Must be a current certified police officer, having graduated from an accredited law enforcement academy.

• Illinois Department of Corrections experience does not apply towards eligibility. However, it will apply towards retirement.

 

2. Must have at least two (2) years of experience while employed as a full-time sworn police officer.

• Applicants who do not have two (2) years experience at the time of the application may still be considered if they will have completed two (2) years by the time the next Fast Track class begins.

 

3. Must provide proof of successful completion of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)/International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) approved DWI/DUI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing training program prior to starting a Fast Track class.

 

4. Must also meet all pre-employment requirements and standards established by the Illinois State Police Merit Board and successfully complete the application process.

 

NOTE: Applicants applying under Option Three of the Merit Board's Pre-Employment Requirements (successfully completed basic law enforcement training, with at least three (3) years of continuous, full-time service as a peace officer with the same police department, and currently serving as a peace officer) would be eligible to be considered for the Fast Track Program. 

 

 

 

 

Pre-Employment Requirements

PRE-EMPLOYMENT REQUIREMENTS

The Illinois State Police Merit Board has set the following minimum requirements for persons applying for the Illinois State Trooper position. All requirements must be met at the time of application submission to be deemed an acceptable applicant.

PRE-EMPLOYMENT REQUIREMENTS:

1.  Must be twenty-one (21) years of age.

• An applicant twenty (20) years of age may apply if they have successfully completed an associates degree or 60 credit hours at a regionally accredited college or university.

2.  Cannot have been convicted of a felony.

3.  Must be a citizen of the United States.

4.  Must possess a valid driver's license.

5.  Must be willing to accept an assignment anywhere in the State of Illinois.

6.  Completed ONE of the following options: 

 

OPTION ONE

Associate degree or at least 60 credit hours from an accredited college or university with at least a C average.

 

OPTION TWO

No education needed if applicant meets ONE of the following:

• Honorably discharged AND awarded at least one of the qualifying medals by the United States Armed Forces.  

• An active member of the Illinois National Guard or a reserve component of the United States Armed Forces AND been awarded at least one of the qualifying medals as a result of honorable service during deployment on active duty.

• Honorably discharged AND served in a combat mission by proof of hostile fire pay or imminent danger pay during deployment on active duty. 

• Three years of full active and continuous United States Armed Forces duty, which also includes a period of active duty with the State of Illinois under Title 10 or Title 32 of the United States Code pursuant to an order of the President or the Governor of the State of Illinois, and received an honorable discharge. 

 

OPTION THREE

No education needed if applicant meets ALL of the following at the time of application:

1.  Has successfully completed basic law enforcement training

2.  Has at least three (3) years of continuous, full-time service as a peace officer with the same police department

3.  Is currently serving as a peace officer. 

 

College or university must be accredited by one of the following:

• Middle States Commission on Higher Education

• Higher Learning Commission

• New England Commission of Higher Education

• Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

• Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges

• WASC Senior College and University Commission

 

Qualifying Military Medals:

• Southwest Asia Service Medal

• Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia

• Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

• Kosovo Campaign Medal

• Korean Defense Service Medal

• Afghanistan Campaign Medal

• Iraq Campaign Medal

• Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

• Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

• Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal

 

For those who apply under Option One: official, sealed transcripts showing a degree or credit hours earned is required at the time of application submission.

For those who apply under Option Two: a DD-214 Long Form must be provided at the time of application submission. 

For those who apply under Option Three: a copy of your law enforcement officer certificate must be provided at the time of application submission. 

 

Any person who fails to meet the standards or show the required proof at the time  of application will be deemed an unacceptable applicant.

How Do I Become a Trooper?

HOW DO I BECOME A TROOPER?

Applicants should be prepared to participate in each of the following:

  • Pre-Employment Application Form 

  • Physical Fitness Inventory Test "PFIT" 

  • Recruitment Examination

  • Application 

  • Background Investigation

  • Oral Interview

  • Certification

  • Medical Evaluation (including drug screening)

  • Psychological Evaluation

  • 28-week Academy Training

Application

APPLICATION

In order to be deemed an acceptable applicant, candidates must meet all Pre-Employment Requirements.

Any candidate who does not meet the Merit Board's Pre-Employment Requirements at the time of application submission will be automatically disqualified.

To begin the application process, submit the online Pre-Employment Application Form.  The form allows you to pick a cadet applican testing date.  Candidates will complete the PFIT first then the online Recruitment Exam. 

 

 

Physical Fitness Inventory Test "PFIT"

PHYSICAL FITNESS INVENTORY TEST "PFIT"

Once a Cadet Class has been scheduled, the Merit Board will schedule applicant testing events. Candidates may select their testing date and location when completing the Pre-Employment Application Form. Approximately one week prior to testing, applicants will receive an e-mail from the State Police Merit Board confirming their date, time, and location for the Physical Fitness Inventory Test ("PFIT").

The PFIT is mandatory to continue in the Selection Process. Applicants who do not successfully complete the PFIT or fail to participate will be removed from the process and required to resubmit a Pre-Employment Application Form.

Practical exercise performance requirements are fitness activities related to law enforcement tasks. The following practical exercise performance requirements have been identified and must be satisfactorily performed for successful completion of the State Police Merit Board's PFIT requirement. 

  • Sit & Reach Test

  • One Minute Sit-Up Test

  • One Repititon Maximum Bench Press

  • 1.5 Mile Run

 

 

 

Recruitment Examination

RECRUITMENT EXAMINATION

Applicants who successfully complete the Physical Fitness Inventory Test (PFIT), are immediately administered the online Recruitment Examination. The Recruitment Exam is administered on the same day as the PFIT.   

The Merit Board will notify each applicant of their Recruitment Exam score via e-mail. Applicants who meet the benchmark score on the Recruitment Exam are placed in the eligibility pool based on their Recruitment Exam score. 

Applicants who do not meet the benchmark score on the Recruitment Exam may request to retest. Instructions on how to submit a retest request are provided to applicants via e-mail.  

An optional study guide is available for purchase at the link below.Practice tests are also available for purchase. This material is not required to participate in the Recruitment Test. Candidates will be required to take the "LST Exam".

 

 

Background Investigation & Review

BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION & REVIEW

Applicants who successfully complete the PFIT and the online Recruitment Exam will have a thorough, comprehensive background investigation conducted by the Illinois State Police.

The background investigation may include but is not limited to, the following areas: education, personal, and employment reference check; traffic, criminal, and credit history check; and a personal interview conducted by one or more background investigators.

Once all background investigation information has been compiled, a Background Review Committee comprised of State Police Merit Board Members will meet to review the background investigation to determine whether an applicant advances to the Oral Interview Process.

Polygraph testing may be required at this, or any other stage of the Selection Process.

Oral Interview Process

ORAL INTERVIEW PROCESS

Applicants deemed eligible by the Background Review Committee will be invited to participate in the Oral Interview Process.  The Oral Interview consists of two parts. 

Part one of the interview process consists of an interview with a State Police Merit Board Member and an Illinois State Police Colonel.

Part two of the interview process includes a written assignment and an oral presentation to a panel of Illinois State Police Officers.

Qualified applicants are then ranked based on their Oral Interview score. Military Veterans are given five veterans preference points at this step in the process.  

Certification

CERTIFICATION

Applicants who successfully complete all of the above steps will be Certified as a qualified applicant for appointment as a sworn officer to the Illinois State Police. 

The Board may certify more applicants than the number of vacant positions at the time of certification. All Certified applicants shall be eligible for appointment for a period of time designated by the Board. 

After Certification, the Illinois State Police will make a conditional offer of employment to enough applicants to fill the vacant positions in the next scheduled Cadet Class. Applicants are then scheduled for a medical examination, psychological examination, and drug screening. These exams are administered by the Illinois State Police.

Illinois State Police Academy

All Illinois State Police Cadets are required to attend the Illinois State Police Academy in Springfield, Illinois.

Cadets will be required to successfully complete PFIT the first week of Academy training.

The Academy is a 28-week, para-military environment. Cadets are required to stay at the Academy Sunday through Friday each week.

During the training period, cadets are furnished lodging, meals and most necessary supplies and equipment. Most weekends, Cadets are free to travel home.

Contact a Recruiter

CONTACT A RECRUITER

The Illinois State Police Recruitment Section is interested in engaging with potential applicants and answering any job-related questions. Please use the contact information provided below to speak with an Illinois State Police Recruiter.

 

Master Sergeant December Melville
Recruitment Section Manager
(309) 264-0494

 

Sergeant Tracy Lillard
Recruitment Section Social Media Liaison
(217) 720-2963

 

Sergeant Aldo Schumann
Northern Recruitment & Internship Coordinator
(312) 894-1592

 

Sergeant Omoayena Williams
Central Recruitment & Internship Coordinator
(312) 208-6066

 

Sergeant Maurice Austin
Southern Recruitment & Internship Coordinator
(217) 685-4752

 

Vision Standards

VISION STANDARDS

 
SYNOPSIS OF VISUAL STANDARDS FOR ENTRANCE INTO THE
 ILLINOIS STATE POLICE ACADEMY
 

The following vision standards are an abbreviated version of those provided to the doctors who administer the vision tests. Any significant finding or a finding that is not addressed by the standards listed below may be subject to additional testing and/or evaluated on an individual basis to determine the potential effects on the individual’s ability to perform the duties required of an Illinois State Trooper. If you have any questions or concerns with your vision, or suspect color blindness, we suggest you discuss these concerns with your personal doctor as the vision screening is one of the last steps in the selection process.

 

FAR VISUAL ACUITY:

Uncorrected visual sharpness - minimum of 20/20 in one eye and no worse than 20/40 in the other eye. Corrected with spectacles or Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses – corrected acuity minimum of 20/20 in one eye and no worse than 20/40 in the other eye; uncorrected acuity must be no worse than 20/40 in either eye. Corrected with disposable or soft contact lenses – corrected acuity minimum of 20/20 in one eye and no worse than 20/40 in the other eye; no uncorrected acuity requirement; must have demonstrated successful contact lens use for the past four months without complication; must clean lenses on a regular basis and replace the lenses every 6-12 months or more frequently, if necessary.

 

NEAR VISUAL ACUITY:

Corrected near acuity must be no worse than 20/20 with both eyes open.

 

PERIPHERAL VISION:

Horizontal visual field must be ≥ 120 degrees in each eye. Total vertical field must be ≥ 100 degrees in each eye. Absence of large scotomas.

 

COLOR VISION:

Must be free of severe anomalous trichromacy, dichromacy, and monochromacy. Colored lenses to improve or correct color vision deficiencies are not allowed.

 

STEREOACUITY:

Candidates who test worse than 80 seconds of arc may be evaluated by a specialist to determine the reason for the deficit and determine if the candidate is at risk for double vision. Double vision/diplopia is disqualifying.

 

REFRACTIVE SURGERY:

There is a post-surgical wait time for all refractive surgery to allow vision to stabilize and ocular media to clear. Candidates with pre-op refractive errors up to 6.00 D spherical equivalent are subject to a three month post-surgical wait time after the following surgeries: Intrastromal Corneal Rings (ICR), Radial Keratotomy (RK), Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK), Laser Keratomileusis (LASIK), and Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis (LASEK). Candidates with pre-op refractive errors over 6.00 D spherical equivalent are subject to a six month post-surgical wait time after the following surgeries: ICR, RK, LRK, LASIK, and LASEK. Candidates with Anterior Chamber-Phakic Intraocular Lenses (PIOL) require a six month post-surgical wait time. If any lens opacities/vacuoles/cataracts have developed, the wait time should extend an additional six months after the first appearance. Candidates with Posterior Chamber-PIOL require a twelve month post-surgical wait time. If any lens opacities/vacuoles/cataracts have developed, the wait time should extend an additional twelve months after the first appearance. Orthokeratology or any experimental refractive surgical procedures must be evaluated on an individual basis.

 

EYE HEALTH AND HISTORY:

Any eye disease or disorder in which the candidate meets all other vision standards may be subject to additional testing and/or evaluated on an individual basis to determine the potential effects on the individual’s ability to perform the duties required of an Illinois State Trooper.

 

 

Questions regarding the medical, vision, or hearing requirements should be directed to the Illinois State Police Division of the Academy and Training at: 217-786-6903.

Hearing Standards

HEARING STANDARDS

 
SYNOPSIS OF HEARING STANDARDS FOR ENTRANCE INTO THE
 ILLINOIS STATE POLICE ACADEMY
 

The following hearing standards are an abbreviated version of those provided to the doctors who administer the hearing tests. Any significant finding or a finding that is not addressed by the standards listed below may be subject to additional testing and/or evaluated on an individual basis to determine the potential effects on the individual’s ability to perform the duties required of an Illinois State Trooper. If you have any questions or concerns with your hearing, we suggest you discuss these concerns with your personal doctor as the hearing screening is one of the last steps in the selection process.

 

HEARING:

On audiometric testing, pure tone thresholds in the unaided worst ear, must not exceed 25 dB at 500 Hz, 1000 Hz, and 2000 Hz, and must not exceed 35 dB at 3000 Hz, or must not exceed 30 dB at any one of the first three frequencies with an average loss of no greater than 30 dB for all four frequencies. Cochlear implants and hearing aid use are not considered reasonable accommodations.

 

Questions regarding these requirements should be directed to the Illinois State Police Division of the Academy and Training at: 217-786-6903.

Medical & Psychological Standards

MEDICAL & PSYCHOLOGICAL STANDARDS  FOR ENTRANCE INTO THE ILLINOIS STATE POLICE ACADEMY

 

 

Questions regarding these requirements should be directed to the Illinois State Police Division of the Academy and Training at: 217-786-6903.

Trooper Pay Scale

TROOPER PAY SCALE

 

Traditional cadets currently earn $3,968/monthly while attending the Illinois State Police Academy. Upon successful completion of the Academy, the Trooper's salary is increased to $7,035 per month. 

Fast Track Cadets will receive Trooper 1 pay while in the Academy ($5,973/month, as of 1/1/2024).

Years of Service Salary
1 Year $84,420
5 Years $92,508
10 Years $107,316
15 Years $118,344
20 Years $129,216
25 Years $142,524

Beginning 7/1/2024

Frequently Asked Questions

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

What is the starting salary?

Traditional cadets currently earn $3,968/monthly while attending the Illinois State Police Academy.

Fast Track Cadets will receive Trooper 1 pay while in the Academy ($5,973/month, as of 1/1/2024).

 
 
Will my salary increase upon successful completion of the Academy?

Upon successful completion of the Academy, the Trooper's salary is increased to $7,035 per month. 

 
 
What kind of benefits will I have?

Personal health and dental insurance are provided at a nominal cost. Also, basic life insurance and vision coverage are provided at no cost. Additional coverage for family members is available at group rates.

 
What about your retirement package?

The following information is provided on the Illinois State Employees' Retirement System (SERS) website

Tier 1
This information applies to individuals who became a member of SERS or a reciprocal system on or before December 31, 2010. The alternative formula applies to members in certain positions with 20 years of alternative service. Members eligible for the alternative formula may retire at age 50 with 25 years of service, or at age 55 with 20 years of service.

 

Tier 2
This information applies to individuals who became a member of SERS or a reciprocal system after December 31, 2010. The alternative formula applies to members in certain positions with 20 years of alternative service. Members eligible for the alternative formula may retire at age 55 with 20 years of service.
 
 
What about vacation and sick time?
During the first year of service, officers receive 2 weeks of paid vacation, one sick day a month and compensation for working any holiday. Additional vacation days are earned through service longevity.
 
 
How long is the Academy training?
The academy is a 30-week, para-military environment. Cadets are required to stay Sunday-Friday. 
 
 
Do I have to stay overnight at the Academy?
Yes. During the training period, cadets are furnished lodging, meals and most necessary supplies and equipment. Most weekends, cadets are free to travel home.
 
 
Do I have to pay for my uniform or equipment as a cadet?
Yes. The amount is approximately $500.
 
 
Do I get to decide where I will be assigned after completing the Academy?
No. You must be willing to be assigned to any Troop throughout the State. District assignments will be made at a time and date to be determined by the Director of the Illinois State Police.
 
 
Is there a maximum age requirement?
Officers have a State mandated retirement age of 60 years.
 
 
Do I have to be a "road" officer, or could I start out working crime scenes or in other specialized areas?
You must start your career as a Trooper with a Field Training Officer (FTO) on the road. There is a probationary period that all officers must complete with their FTO. After completion of two years in their original assignment location, officers may request a transfer to another area.
 
 
What is the tattoo policy?
Officers who currently have tattoos or body modifications that are on their face, above the collarbone, neck area, fingers, hands, wrist, arms, or otherwise visible due to the open collar of the standard uniform shirt and V-neck t-shirt shall conceal them.
 
Officers who currently have tattoos or body modifications that are on the arms, visible in a short-sleeved uniform, will conceal them with a Departmental issued skin tone colored sleeve. Non-uniformed officers will also conceal tattoos or body modifications at all times while on duty. The Department, at its discretion, will decide the make and style of sleeve to be purchased. 
 

Having an Issue with the Application?

Please contact the Merit Board's third-party vendor, IOS Recruitment, at recruitment@iosolutions.com or at 708-410-0200 for assistance with all Trooper application technical questions or issues.

Application Fee Waiver Program

APPLICATION FEE WAIVER PROGRAM

All applicants may request a waiver of any application and/or testing fee by submitting the appropriate form as prescribed by the Board. Applicants shall be eligible for a waiver of the application and/or testing fee if they meet one of the following requirements:

1. His or her available income is 200% or less of the current poverty level; or

2. He or she is, in the discretion of the Board, unable to proceed in an action with payment of application fee and payment of that fee would result in substantial hardship to the person or the person’s family.

The current poverty level shall be the poverty guidelines enumerated by the federal department of Health and Human Services.  Applicants seeking a fee waiver must show proof of their current income levels or a statement explaining the substantial hardship to the person or the person’s family.

 

The Merit Board shall make a determination of eligibility and notify the requester if the request is granted or denied as follows:

1. Requests based on the income level of the applicant shall receive a determination of eligibility within 30 days of receipt of the request by the Board.

2. Requests based on substantial hardship to the person shall be reviewed by the Board at its next regular Board meeting after receipt of the request, except that requests received within seven business days of the next regular Board meeting shall be considered at the second subsequent regular Board meeting.  The Board shall vote to accept or deny the request for a fee waiver by a majority of the Board Members voting.  Requests approved by a majority of the Board shall be granted.  In the event of a tie vote, the request for fee waiver shall be denied.  The applicant shall be notified of the Board’s determination within 10 days following the determination of the Board.

 

Download the Fee Waiver Application Form here:

 

 

 

 

 

NOTE:  The Applicant Process procedures are subject to change at any time.