The Association of Blacks in Law Enforcement (ABLE) & ISP Recruitment Office
Encourage Students to Consider a Career in Law Enforcement
CHICAGO—Illinois State Police (ISP) officials and the Association of Blacks in Law Enforcement (ABLE) are rallying the ISP troops to participate in the 83rd Annual Bud Billiken Parade.
Since 1929, the Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic has been a family tradition for young students and signals the beginning of a new school year. The Bud Billiken Parade is the oldest and largest African-American parade in the United States, and members from the Illinois State Police are proud to participate and encourage youth to consider future careers in law enforcement.
“The Bud Billiken Parade is an opportunity for our officers to represent the ISP to young, aspiring students who are seeking mentors and role models as they consider careers in law enforcement,” said ISP Director Hiram Grau. “It is always gratifying to know that the men and women of this Agency are willing to participate and provide positive examples of leadership to our youth and their future,” he added.
ISP Officials also praised the ISP’s outreach and recruitment efforts to ensure diversity throughout the department. The Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers (ABLE) works closely with the ISP Recruitment Office, and is leading the Agency’s contingent during the parade.
More than twenty sworn members from ABLE, and field recruiters representing northern and southern districts, will participate in the parade escorted by an ISP squad car.
“ABLE is very involved in supporting youth oriented programs that assist students across Illinois and we know that when we help our young people, we are paving the roads of success for their future,” said ABLE’s President Master Sergeant Danyelle Foster. This year, ABLE hosted a fundraiser - Educate a Child, Educate a Nation – and will select five college-bound students to receive scholarship awards at its annual Robert M. Patton Scholarship Awards Ceremony.
The ISP Recruitment Office works closely with ABLE and echoed the support and importance of serving as a positive role model for youth.
“Supporting this historic event helps to foster a bridge between the Illinois State Police and the African-American community,” said ISP Regional Recruiter Trooper Natasha Lawson. “A career in law enforcement is dangerous and noble in every community, but when we encourage students to join our ranks, we add diversity to the communities and citizens we serve,” Lawson added.
The parade steps off at 10:00 a.m. at King Drive & 39th Street to 51st Street through Washington Park on Elsworth Drive. The parade will disband at 6:00 p.m. on Morgan Drive in Chicago.