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(20 ILCS 805/805-535)
(was 20 ILCS 805/63b2.2)
Conservation Police Officers.
In addition to
the arrest powers prescribed by law, Conservation
Police Officers are conservators of the peace and as such have all powers
possessed by policemen, except that they may exercise those powers
in this State. Conservation Police Officers acting under the authority
of this Section are considered employees of the Department and are subject
to its direction, benefits, and legal protection.
Any person hired by the Department of Natural Resources after July 1, 2022
for a sworn law enforcement position or position that has arrest authority
must meet the following minimum professional standards:
(1) At the time of hire, the person must be not less
than 21 years of age, or 20 years of age and have successfully completed an associate's degree or 60 credit hours at an accredited college or university. Any person hired after successful completion of an associate's degree or 60 credit hours at an accredited college or university shall not have power of arrest, nor shall he or she be permitted to carry firearms, until he or she reaches 21 years of age;
(2) The person must possess the skill level and
demonstrate the ability to swim at a competency level approved by the Department in an administrative rule; and
(3) The person must successfully obtain certification
pursuant to the Illinois Police Training Act and must also successfully complete the Conservation Police Academy training program, consisting of not less than 400 hours of training, within one year of hire.
Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, all persons who meet one of the following requirements are deemed to have met the collegiate education requirements:
(i) have been honorably discharged and who have been
awarded a Southwest Asia Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, or Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal by the United States Armed Forces;
(ii) are active members of the Illinois National
Guard or a reserve component of the United States Armed Forces and who have been awarded a Southwest Asia Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, or Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal as a result of honorable service during deployment on active duty;
(iii) have been honorably discharged and served in a
combat mission by proof of hostile fire pay or imminent danger pay during deployment on active duty; or
(iv) have at least 3 years of full active and
continuous military duty and received an honorable discharge before hiring.
The Department of Natural Resources must adopt an administrative rule
listing those disciplines that qualify as directly related areas of study.
(Source: P.A. 102-837, eff. 5-13-22.)