"Shall, at all times, uphold the Constitutions and laws (uphold the Constitutions and laws) of my country and the state of Illinois. (of my country and the state of Illinois.)"
The 37 cadets took their oath in the auditorium of the Illinois State Police Academy in Springfield in the last graduation ceremony it'll see in a while. This class was the fifth to graduate in a year.
A new group had been scheduled to begin the 27-week training on June 15th; instead the session never started. State Police Director Hiram Grau says the state funding the agency was counting on didn't come through.
"This class graduates today and I wish I had another class coming in after them, but we're going to have to operate with the manpower that we have. We really do need some more bodies."
For a while now, the state police has compensated short staffing by making overtime part of the regular schedule.
Though the General Assembly passed a 'flat' budget, meaning not more or less than the previous year, Grau says it's not enough for the equipment, meals and teaching hours for more cadet classes.