| The Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation (ISPHF) ceremonially accepted a 1.5 acre park today from AIG American General. The ISPHF intends to construct a memorial in the park dedicated to honor the lives and memories of the fallen heros of the Illinois State Police (ISP). The park, formerly known as Becker Park, is located immediately north of the ISP Central Headquarters on Lawrence Avenue between Sixth and Seventh Streets in Springfield. AIG also dedicated a statue of Benjamin Franklin to the ISPHF which is located south of the park on Sixth Street. The ISPHF is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of the ISP and its employees. Established in 2000, the foundation financed and constructed a museum located at 3936 North Peoria Road on Historic Route 66 in Springfield. The museum is open to the public and provides a display of vehicles and items used by the ISP throughout its 85-year history. |
"For nearly 40 years, this beautiful green space has been a place for people to pause, relax and reflect," said Dale Sachtleben, Vice President of Customer Services for AIG American General. "It is fitting that this oasis now serve to further inspire its visitors by honoring those who have given their lives in the line of duty."
ISPHF President Joe Davis graciously accepted ownership of the park. “Words cannot express what this park means to the families of those who gave their life in the line of duty, to the history of the ISP, and to the untold thousands of people who have made up the ISP family over the past 85 years and for years to come,” said Davis, a retired ISP Sergeant.
ISP Director Larry Trent indicated that 58 ISP officers had died while on duty protecting Illinois citizens. He further added, “These brave individuals were more than police officers, they were part of a family. They served with dedication and distinction, accepting the possibility of making the ultimate sacrifice as an inherent part of their duty. This memorial, when constructed, will pay fitting tribute to these fallen officers and serve as a place to remember and honor these officers and their families who have given so much.”
A Memorial Park Committee comprised of members from all ISP divisions and fraternal organizations was formed by the ISPHF. Members serve on a volunteer basis and oversee the funding, design and construction of the memorial. All donated funds will be used for the construction of the memorial and park maintenance. Tax deductible charitable donations can be made to the Illinois State Police Federal Credit Union, 2202 South Sixth Street, Springfield, Illinois.
For more information on the ISP Heritage Foundation and Memorial Park, please visit the ISPHF’s website at www.ISPHF.org.