Illinois State Police Memorial Park
The Illinois State Police has proudly served the citizens of Illinois since 1922. Throughout our nearly 100 year history, the men and women sworn to protect and serve the citizens of the state have recited the Oath of an Officer. While the whole Oath is available below, an excerpt reads “to give my utmost to protect the rights, property, and lives of our citizens.” The fallen officers gave their EVERYTHING. Each of them recited this very oath upon graduation from the Illinois State Police Academy.
The Illinois State Police Memorial Park is dedicated to honoring the lives and memories of those lost in honorary service to the people of this great state. Let us remember these heroes who lost their lives while upholding their oath. We dedicate this site to them and extend our deepest sympathy to their families and friends.
Oath of an Officer
I solemnly vow to the people of Illinois, upon my honor as an officer and citizen, to discharge the duties of an officer of the Illinois State Police to the best of my ability, to adhere to the rules and regulations of the Illinois State Police, and to adopt the Agency's mission and goals into my everyday life. I pledge to be honest in thought, word, and deed; to maintain unimpeachable integrity; to be just, fair, and impartial; to be steadfast against evil and its temptations; and to give my utmost to protect the rights, property, and lives of our citizens. I shall strive to give thoughtful, intelligent obedience to the commands of my superiors, to make my conduct friendly but impartial, courteous but firm, and charitable to the inadvertent violator. But I shall never compromise with crime and shall, at all times, uphold the Constitutions and laws of my country and the state of Illinois.
Integrity Service Pride
Integrity, Service, Pride comprises the motto of the Illinois State Police. However, to the men and women who serve the agency - and the families who stand beside them - these three words are more than a motto. They are core values.
The memorial park focuses on the three core values and the honor associated with these values. These values are expressed both symbolically and literally in the various features a visitor to the park will experience.
Within the park will be a sequence of experiences which will instill in the visitor a sense of the dedication of the fallen officers of the Illinois State Police, the sacrifice made by them and their families, and the gratitude that is their due. The sequence begins with the commencement of an officer's Service - following a call to serve in law enforcement. One then follows the "path of service" of an officer - a life with purpose and direction, defined by duty.
The sequence involves passing through a transitional area which speaks to the brokenness experienced when an officer's life is cut short and culminates at a sacred place which pays homage to the Integrity of the officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice. As part of this culmination, each officer is memorialized by name and hometown. One then follows along a return sequence which includes a special place set aside to commemorate the virtue of Pride as part of the character of an officer.
Through the intimate memorial inscriptions, the sculptural elements, the hardscape materials and the landscaping features, the visitor will experience a sense of the instilled pride of the men and women who serve the Illinois State Police and the gratitude, honor and respect they afford their fallen comrades, as well as their comrades' families, who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
About the Memorial Park
On September 12, 2007, the Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation ceremoniously took possession of Becker Park, a 1.5-acre park located next to the ISP Central Headquarters in Springfield, Illinois. This park was donated to the Foundation by the AIG Corporation. Set between Sixth and Seventh Streets and fronted by Lawrence Avenue to its south, the park is a short walk from Mr. Lincoln's Neighborhood, the Elijah Iles House (Springfield's oldest home) the Dana-Thomas House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Governor's mansion and several other historic sites.
All too many ISP Officers have given their lives to protect the citizens of Illinois. These brave individuals were more than police officers, they were part of a family. Each served with distinction and went to work each day knowing the possibility of making the "ultimate sacrifice", while dedicating their life to protecting us. This memorial has allowed us all to pay fitting gratitude to not only our fallen officers, but their families who have given so much as well.
The park provides for public gatherings to remember the fallen heroes and, if unfortunately necessary, to add to the memorial of names. It also sets aside places for quiet introspection, meditation or prayer. It is intended that in both the public gatherings and the more intimate, individual experiences, the park will be a place of consolation and comfort for those who have lost a family member or friend.
For more information on the ISP Memorial Park please check out the Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation Website at www.isphf.org/memorial-park/