History of the Division of Patrol

On June 24, 1921, the 52nd General Assembly of the State of Illinois authorized the Department of Public Works and Buildings to hire a "sufficient number of State Highway Patrol Officers to enforce the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Laws." The Illinois State Police was officially created in 1922, at which time the first state police force in Illinois emerged with men patrolling the highways on motorcycles with the goal of enforcing motor vehicle laws to provide public safety. Today, the Illinois State Police is a multifaceted police agency focused on enforcing the laws, protecting the public, and providing an array of specialty services to other law enforcement agencies. The Illinois State Police, now comprised of sworn personnel and civilians totaling more than 3,000, is one of the most modern and efficient police organizations in the country.

Today, the Illinois State Police’s Division of Patrol provides uniformed patrol on Illinois roadways to proactively enforce criminal and traffic laws and provide safety education to the public, continuing on the initial mission from 1922. The Division of Patrol is comprised of officers from 21 patrol districts statewide, as well as officers in a variety of integral patrol support service functions. The primary mission of these officers is to promote and provide traffic safety and interdict crime across Illinois roadways.

The Division of Patrol supports the Illinois State Police’s traditions of Integrity, Service, and Pride and is committed to pursuing missions and innovative ways to collaborate with community and safety partners while providing professional law enforcement services focused on the interdiction of crime and traffic safety.