History of the Division of Criminal Investigation

The evolution of an organized statewide investigative body within the Illinois State Police (ISP) goes back over seven decades to the 1950s. Over time this investigative effort took on different forms and missions ranging from gambling; narcotic enforcement; organized crime; general criminal activity; horse racing enforcement; auto theft, and training of local law enforcement in criminal investigative methods.

In 1950, Governor Adlai E. Stevenson enacted an investigative arm of the uniformed ISP dedicated to the suppression of gambling in the State of Illinois. For three years this unit focused on casino type gambling and slot machines. In ensuing years the unit grew and officers began working in plain clothes and conducting various criminal investigations not only for the ISP but for local law enforcement as well. Additionally, in 1951, the ISP created an investigative arm to conduct investigations into stolen and abandoned vehicles. These two units would intersect years later in 1969, when they were combined to form ISP District #25. In 1976, District #25’s name was changed to the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) and a total of approximately one hundred and twenty investigators focused on homicide, armed robbery, and burglary investigations.

Separate from the ISP, in 1958, legislation signed by the Honorable William G. Stratton, Governor of Illinois, created the Division of Narcotic Control (DNC) dedicated to the investigation of illegal narcotics trafficking and regulation of the Triplicate Prescription Program (prescription procedures for licensed practitioners, pharmacists, and hospitals). At the onset this investigative unit had twenty-six inspectors amongst its ranks. A majority were stationed in Chicago, Illinois and the remainder were located in Springfield, Illinois. The DNC was also responsible for creating training programs for local law enforcement. In 1969, Governor Richard B. Ogilvie signed legislation which created the Illinois Bureau of Investigation (IBI). This new agency recruited and trained its own Special Agents to the multi-faceted demands of modern day criminal investigations and focused on narcotic trafficking, organized crime, and general criminal activity. Throughout the years 1969 through 1977, the IBI regionalized and expanded its purview of investigative oversight, realizing many successes within the criminal justice system.

On July 1, 1977, Governor James R. Thompson reorganized the Department of Law Enforcement through Executive Order and combined the Criminal Investigative Bureau (CIB) of the Illinois State Police and the Illinois Bureau of Investigation (IBI) into one Division within the ISP. The Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) was formed within the ISP resulting in approximately three hundred investigators statewide possessing a wide latitude of investigative experience. This model lasted until the mid-1990s when the Division of State Troopers and the Division of Criminal Investigation were merged into the single Division of Operations (DOO).

On August 16, 2019, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed Executive Order 2019-12 reestablishing the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) to support the delivery of professional and specialized criminal investigative service to the citizens of Illinois. Additionally, the DCI now incorporates many of specialty units and services made up within the ISP. Special Operations Command, Medicaid Fraud investigations, Air Operations, criminal intelligence, and gaming enforcement are all among the functions of the newly formed DCI taking the ISP into the future.