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New law modifies police education requirements for qualified college students

The job candidate pool for Illinois police will soon grow thanks to legislation (House Bill 305) sponsored by Senate Republicans that will waive police education requirements for applicants completing their bachelor’s degree. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner on Sept. 8.

The previous Illinois police qualifications strictly required that all candidates have an associate’s degree or higher in order to apply—which inadvertently would omit applicants who are in the process of obtaining a bachelor’s degree. The law now states that applicants are eligible for a position with the police department if they either possess an associate’s degree or have completed at least 60 credit hours toward a bachelor’s degree. As a result, local police departments will have greater hiring flexibility and a more competitive pool of qualified, educated candidates. 

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