SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA)– The Illinois State Police welcomed 57 new members into their family Friday. Cadets were sworn in as troopers in front of the governor, lieutenant governor, state police director and their families. The ceremony takes place for every class but state leaders said this group stand out.
Illinois State Police (ISP) Cadet Class 129 turned in their applications to become troopers last august.
“You all applied to go to the state police academy and made it through the process but even after seeing not one, not two but three troopers make the ultimate sacrifice in January and March you still showed up in April,” said ISP Acting Director Brendan Kelly.
While the class was training another trooper was killed on the job, presenting challenges for the troopers and state leaders alike.
“On August 23rd, hardly two months before your graduation, you saw Trooper Nicholas Hopkins join Chris Lambert, Brooke Jones-Story and Gerald Ellis this year in the ranks of our bravest heroes,” Governor J.B. Pritzker said.
70 cadets began the journey, but only 57 made it until the end.
“Graduates, I know that you are painfully aware that this has been a tough year for the men and women of the Illinois State Police yet you still chose this path to serve and protect the people of Illinois,” said Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton.
“May the wind be at your back, good luck, god bless, and be safe CC129, the class that held fast,” said Kelly.
Troopers will now report to their patrol districts around the state starting Monday. There, they will take part in a 14-week mentoring field training program.