Federal Law Enforcement agencies have a significant presence in Illinois – which is fitting for the nation’s fifth most populous state. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there were 3,109 federal law enforcement officers or agents working in Illinois in 2008 and that number has increased significantly since.
Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Operating in Illinois
All federal law enforcement agencies are currently active in Illinois. These agencies support all of the federal law enforcement jobs in Illinois from the following locations:
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) – Chicago, Downers Grove, Fairview Heights, Peoria, Springfield (field offices); Rock Island and Rockford (satellite offices)
- Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – Chicago (field operations)
- Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) – Chicago (division office); Springfield (resident office)
- Federal Air Marshal Service – Chicago (field office)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – Chicago, Springfield (field offices); Champaign, Decatur, Fairview Heights, Lisle, Marion, Orland Park, Peoria, Quad Cities (satellite offices)
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – Chicago (special-agent-in-charge field office covering Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin)
- Federal Protective Service (FPS) – Chicago (region V headquarters)
- National Park Service (Rangers) – See below
- US Coast Guard (USCG) – Chicago (Great Lakes station); Rock Island, Willowbrook, Wilmette (marine safety); Granite City (enrollment center); East Peoria (administrative office)
- US Marshals Service – Chicago, Rockford (northern district offices); Champaign, Danville, Peoria, Quincy, Rock Island, Springfield, Urbana (central district); Alton, Benton, Cairo, East St. Louis (southern district)
- US Secret Service – Chicago, Peoria, Springfield (field offices)
Training for Federal Law Enforcement Careers in Illinois
The first line of training for a career in federal law enforcement is a bachelors or master’s degree in a field like criminal justice or homeland security. Illinois has at least 30 universities and 20 colleges with programs that provide the knowledge needed to begin a fulfilling career as a federal law enforcement officer/agent.
The following courses offered by an Illinois university Center for Applied Criminal Justice are a good example of the subject areas included in criminal justice programs.
- Survey of Criminal Justice
- Introduction to External Security
- Criminal and Civil Law
- Criminal Investigations and Procedures
- Crime Scene Investigation
- Writing in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration
- Principles of Terrorism
- Terrorism Financing and Responses
- Diversity, Ethics and Professionalism in Criminal Justice
- Theories of Crime
- Legal Aspects of Homeland Security
- White Collar Crime
- Organize3d Crime
Federal Law Enforcement Success in Illinois
On August 13, 2013, a DEA task force in Chicago, in cooperation with local authorities, arrested 30 individuals charged with operating a large heroin trafficking ring. The 26-year-old male purported to be the head of the ring was among those arrested. The arrests should be a significant help in stopping the recent heroin epidemic that has affected the Chicago/DuPage County area.
These arrests are just one example of the results of the continuing efforts of federal law enforcement agents/officers to make Illinois a safer and more secure place to live.
National Park Service (Rangers) Sites in Illinois
- Shawnee National Forest
- Chicago Portage (national historic site)
- Lincoln Home (national historic site)
- Modoc Rock Shelter (national historic site)
- Four national wildlife refuges
The Illinois Congressional delegation has introduced a bill in Congress to grant national park status to Chicago’s historic Pullman neighborhood that was founded by George Pullman in 1880 for the manufacture of luxurious Pullman sleeping rail cars. The elaborate complex included housing, shops and services for Pullman employees and was considered a unique industrial model.
Federal Air Marshals in Chicago, Illinois
With an average 66.8 million passengers (2011) a year, Chicago O’Hare International Airport is the nation’s second busiest and the world’s third busiest airport. Anyone who has ever had to change planes at O’Hare would not be surprised to learn O’Hare handles 50 airlines at 158 passenger gates.
However, most people don’t know that an unmarked building near O’Hare is a headquarters for federal air marshals who are the last line of defense against terrorists who board airliners with evil intent. Most of the brave men and women who serve as air marshals are said to be former Secret Service agents. Air marshals working out of Chicago earn an annual salary of $77,000, 12 percent higher than the national average.