Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Illinois State Police (ISP) remains committed to recognizing the need for diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Department. In 2004, the ISP created the Diversity Advisory Council (DAC) to address topics related to cultural diversity and racial/gender biases. The purpose of the DAC is to increase awareness and sensitivity regarding diversity in the ISP and promote understanding and appreciation to assist with recruitment efforts.

Since its inception, the DAC has continued to work towards creating and maintaining a culture that addresses inequities and seeks ways for improving processes. In March of 2020, the DAC began to develop Unconscious Bias Training for individuals participating on promotional interview panels. This training is an example of ISP recognizing that the evaluation process for sworn employees needed to be improved. The training will be a requirement of evaluators starting in calendar year 2021.

The ISP has also recognized that certain work units do not seem to draw diverse talent. For example, the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (S.W.A.T.) surveyed employees to determine what barriers may be limiting employees from applying to work in S.W.A.T. The feedback has been reviewed to determine how to address the gaps and develop a long-term strategy.

In January of 2020, the education requirement for sworn personnel changed from a bachelor’s degree to 60 credit hours or an associate degree. With the education requirement change, the recruitment team continues to review underutilization information on a quarterly basis to enhance their efforts. In addition, the ISP’s senior command appointed by Director Kelly are a diverse group of individuals committed to improving the processes related to recruitment and promotional opportunities.

The ISP is proud of its accomplishments and recognizes the contributions of all employees who have made progress towards the pursuit of diversity, equity, and inclusion. As the evolution of policing continues, the ISP will look for ways to increase its commitment to ensure all are treated with fairness and equity. Director Brendan F. Kelly and First Deputy Director Matthew Davis will serve as Executive Sponsors partnering with not only the DAC but all employees of the ISP to ensure forward progress.


To the Illinois State Police, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) needs to be a part of both our short term and long-term strategic plans for accountability and success. The DAC utilized the definitions provided by the Morten Group, LLC to guide development of this plan.

Diversity: Psychological, physical, and social differences that occur among any and all individuals; including but not limited to race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, age, gender, sexual orientation, mental or physical ability, and learning style.

Equity: The guarantee of fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. The principle of equity acknowledges that there are historically underserved and underrepresented populations, and that fairness regarding these unbalanced conditions is needed to assist equality in the provision of effective opportunities to all groups.

Inclusion: The act of creating environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate and bring their full, authentic selves to work. An inclusive and welcoming climate embraces differences and offers respect in the words/actions/thoughts of all people.

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