Officer Marquis JonesSPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Police (ISP) is gearing up for the 2024 Team Illinois Youth Police Camp (TIYPC) summer camp series, set to take place across the state in Elsah, Romeoville, and Carbondale. The week-long residency camps, designed for teenagers aged 13 to 17, are modeled on a military structure and focus on teaching cadets military drills, physical fitness exercises, leadership development, substance abuse resistance, and team-building principles.

The TIYPCs, which promote positive interactions between law enforcement and attendees, have been credited by graduates as pivotal experiences in their lives. “The ISP youth camp definitely influenced my future, because at the age of 8-years-old, I knew that I wanted to become a police officer or join the US Army,” said Swansea Police Officer and Metro East TIYPC graduate Marquis Jones. “With the help of the camp and counselors, I was able to do both. I have been a police officer for eight years and I have been serving for 13 years as a Military Police Noncommissioned Officer in the Illinois Army National Guard. After completion of the TIYPC, I was able to keep in contact with the troopers for mentoring and advice along my journey to becoming a police officer.”

Get The Latest News!

Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.

The first TIYPC began in 2006 in Granite City, later moving to Alton in 2009, and eventually settling at Principia College in Elsah in 2013. Since its inception, 879 cadets have graduated from the Metro East TIYPC. The 2024 Metro East TIYPC will commence in July, with applications being accepted through June 14. Interested parties can contact Ms. Sandra Voytas at Sandra.Voytas@illinois.gov for more information.

Article continues after sponsor message

Due to the program's success, ISP expanded the camps to other regions. The Northern TIYPC, initially held at Olivet Nazarene University, now takes place at Lewis University in Romeoville. MacKenzie McGee, a 2017 graduate, shared, “At that time in life, I was struggling with a lot of things. The path that I was on was going to get me in a lot of trouble, so I went to the camp. This camp impacted the way I saw my future. This camp taught me structure and discipline and from learning these things and more, I ended up choosing the military as my career. I left for the marine corps at 18 on November 15, 2021. When I look back at it, honestly, if it wasn’t for the camp teaching me these things and turning my life around, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I recently got out of the military but my next goal in life is to become a cop. I want to be able to help kids and see them succeed in life. This camp helped inspire me to be who I am today.”

In 2023, ISP, in collaboration with the Carbondale Police Department, established the Southern TIYPC at Southern Illinois University. Rene Voss, mother of Southern TIYPC graduate Gary Stone, expressed, “I cannot advocate enough for the TIYPC-C. It made so many positive changes in my son. He came home with self-respect, and I feel it gave him a strong sense of direction for his future. When he talks about his experience at the camp, he always gets a smile on his face, he stands a little taller and his confidence has made so many gains. The best part about the camp is Gary has connected with so many positive mentors that have stayed in contact with him all year long. He has developed lifelong relationships with these local law enforcement officers and ISP Troopers.”

While applications for the Northern and Southern TIYPCs have closed for 2024, prospective cadets can look forward to the next application window opening in early 2025. These camps are funded through public and private donations and partnerships with local law enforcement, civic organizations, state agencies, and the Illinois National Guard. The cost of attendance varies by location.

More like this:

Jun 13, 2024 - U.S. Attorney’s Office Highlights Efforts Aimed at Curbing Summer Violence

Apr 18, 2024 - ISP Congratulates New Troopers Of Cadet Class 146

Jul 2, 2024 - ISP Improves Crash Investigation and Safety Techniques During Testing and Research Event

May 2, 2024 - Lewis and Clark's College for Kids Program Gears Up for a Summer of Learning and Fun

Apr 24, 2024 - Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois Hosting a Variety of Day and Overnight Camps