SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to increase its ranks and attract potential future Troopers, the Illinois State Police (ISP) is excited to announce the reimaging of the Fast Track Program into the newly created Lateral Entry Training Program. The new program is designed to incentivize current law enforcement officers to increase their opportunities and join ISP.

“The Illinois State Police is one of the premier policing agencies in the country, and with the largest budget in State Police history, we are looking to hire many more troopers to protect public safety and seek justice for the people of Illinois,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “The Academy has created the Lateral Entry Training Program to retain the high training standards ISP is known for, but allow current police officers to spend less time away from home and their family.”

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The new Lateral Entry Training Program will incorporate much of the current Fast Track Program curriculum and time frame, but provides for training to take place regionally. Changes include:

  • Cadets will report to the ISP Academy for the first three weeks of the Cadet Class.
  • Cadets will then return home and report daily to a District Headquarters or similar regional training location to receive in-person and online training, with the ability to return to home at the end of each work day.
  • Cadets will return to the Academy during specific phases of their training, however, they will not be required to reside at the Academy for more than three weeks in a row (home for the weekends) and for no more than five weeks total throughout the Cadet Class.
  • Cadets will NOT be required to relocate their residence upon graduation.
  • Cadets will be eligible for retirement at age 55.

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While at the ISP Academy, Cadets are provided with cutting-edge training in a variety of law enforcement functions. Upon graduation from the ISP Academy, Troopers will work in one of the 21 patrol districts across the state; however, after an initial assignment to patrol, Troopers will have the opportunity to apply to one of the many specialty positions within the ISP. These specialty positions include, Drug Enforcement, Violent Crime Investigations, Crimes against Children, Gaming, Public Corruption, Forensic Crime Scene Services, Internal Investigations, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team, Air Operations, K-9 Handler, Motorcycle Unit, the Executive Protection Unit, and the Academy.

Lateral Entry Training applicants must be a current certified police officer, have graduated from an accredited law enforcement academy, and have at least two years of experience while employed as a full-time sworn police officer. Applicants will be required to provide proof of successfully completing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration/International Association of Chiefs of Police approved DWI/DUI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing training program, or an approved equivalent, prior to starting Cadet Class 138.

June 1, 2022 will be the last day to turn in all applications and required documentation to the ISP Merit Board in order to be considered for the October 2022 ISP Centennial Academy Cadet Class 138. This new Cadet learning strategy is a hybrid approach and all applicants will still be required to go through the entire Merit Board and ISP hiring process:

  • Testing
  • Background investigation
  • Interviews
  • Medical evaluation
  • Successful completion of the ISPA

Anyone interested in joining the ranks of the ISP is encouraged to visit the ISP Merit Board website at www.illinoistrooper.com for application information.

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