Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Illinois State Police changes education requirements for applicants

Right now, the Illinois State Police is changing its policies to draw in more potential new hires. 

Starting next year, you will no longer need a bachelor's degree to apply to be a state trooper.
Applicants will now only need an associate’s degree or 60 credits of course work.

The reason? A shortage of state police in Illinois.

In 2009, the state police had approximately 2,119 troopers. Today, they only have about 1,767. "We don't have enough troopers out there in my opinion, We need to be out there patrolling the interstates," said Hector Alejandre, a master sergeant with the Illinois State Police.

University of Illinois Springfield political science professor Ryan Williams believes that this will open doors to lower-income applicants. "A two-year degree might be more affordable for the population that can't afford a four-year degree,” said Williams.

Williams said a bachelor's degree does help in certain areas. "An education helps them be more empathetic,” said Williams. “It helps them write better when they have to write reports." Overall, he said lowering academic requirements won't make a big difference in everyday police work.

ISP officials said they also offer tuition reimbursements if troopers want to go back to college after they're hired. They are actively recruiting for their 2020 state trooper class.

This story aired on WICS Newschannel 20 on October 8, 2019.

Watch the story online.

Illinois Innocence Project case gets clemency hearing

A Chicago woman whose 1992 double murder conviction was taken up by the Springfield-based Illinois Innocence Project will have a clemency hearing before the Prisoner Review Board at the Thompson Center on Wednesday.

Marilyn Mulero’s co-defendant in the case has repeatedly confessed to being the sole murderer of Jimmy Cruz and Hector Reyes, both members of the Latin Kings gang.

Mulero originally was sentenced to death, though that sentence was later reduced to life without parole.

There have been 19 exonerations to date involving the two Chicago police detectives, Reynaldo Guevara and Ernest Halvorsen, who arrested Mulero.

The Illinois Innocence Project (IIP), which is based at the University of Illinois Springfield, has been joined by The Exoneration Project and the California Innocence Project in representing Mulero.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on October 8, 2019.

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Monday, October 7, 2019

Men's Soccer: Falsone powers UIS to second straight win

The University of Illinois Springfield men’s soccer team cruised to a 5-1 victory over Truman State at Kiwanis Stadium for its second straight win Sunday.

Mario Falsone scored both of his goals in the first half for a 3-1 halftime advantage. He converted a penalty kick during the 6th minute and struck again midway through the half for his fourth goal of the season.

Dan Mahoney made it 2-0 with his second goal of the season, assisted by Harry Hiscock. Mario Gonzalez and Drew Keller each tacked on a goal in the second half to lift UIS to 5-4-1 overall and 3-3-1 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on October 6, 2019.

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