11 Best Police Department in Illinois

The best police departments to work for in Illinois are often ranked according to quality of life, well-being and cost of living.

While the rankings vary depending on which organization is doing the ranking, there are some commonalities among them.

Here is a list of 15 top police departments in Illinois that you should consider if you are considering a career in law enforcement.

However, before making any decisions, be sure to do your own research and compare the different agencies.

What is a career in law enforcement really like?

There are many different aspects to consider when answering this question.

Some people may be interested in the excitement and adrenaline rush that comes with police work while others may be drawn to the technical and scientific aspects of crime solving.

Others might want a job with great benefits or one in which they can really make a difference in their community, helping people who are less fortunate than themselves.

Whatever your reason for wanting to become an officer, it is important to do some research before applying.

Once you have decided on which agency is right for you, it’s time to prepare yourself physically and mentally for this challenging career choice.

A law enforcement job comes with many rewards but equally as much responsibility.

Just like in all professions, there are good days and bad ones, but if you are passionate about serving and protecting your community, the good days will far outweigh the bad.

Why consider a law enforcement career in Illinois?

There are many reasons to consider a career in law enforcement in the state of Illinois.

Some of the most common reasons are:

  • A desire to serve and protect your community
  • The opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives
  • A strong sense of community spirit
  • A passion for helping people
  • The technical and scientific aspects of crime solving
  • Great benefits, including retirement plans
  • Making a difference in young people’s lives
  • The opportunity to advance your career and move up the ranks

It doesn’t matter if it’s making sure families are safe during severe weather or talking someone down from committing suicide, every day presents an opportunity for officers to help and protect others.

Everyone has a different reason for wanting to become an officer but it is important that you do your research before applying to any agency.

11 Best Police Department to Work For in Illinois

Below is a list of the top 11 police departments in Illinois, based on our research.

Remember, these are only some of the many agencies that you can work for and you should do your own research to find the best department for you.

1. Bloomington Police Department

What We Like: Low cost of living and generous benefits package

Location: Bloomington, IL

Population: 80,000+

Overview:

The Bloomington Police Department is a great place to work if you are looking for a low cost of living and good benefits.

The department is located in McLean County and boasts a population of approximately 80,000 people.

This department has received an award for their diversity outreach efforts and offers competitive benefits to all employees including life insurance, health insurance, dental coverage and retirement plans.

The city also provides officers with paid time off (PTO) that can be accumulated throughout the year.

Officers can also earn comp time for working extra hours.

The department is looking for qualified applicants who are committed to providing quality service to the community.

If you are interested in joining the Bloomington Police Department, visit their website for more information.

2. Arlington Heights Police Department

What We Like: Excellent benefits and great community relations

Location: Arlington Heights, IL

Population: 75,000+

Overview:

The Arlington Heights Police Department is located just northwest of Chicago and serves the village of Arlington Heights.

The department is well-known for its excellent benefits, including a competitive pension and health insurance plan. Officers also enjoy a good amount of community interaction, which can be beneficial for their overall quality of life.

The only downside to the Arlington Heights Police Department is that officers start out at a lower salary than many other departments in the state.

However, with its many positives, the Arlington Heights Police Department is still a great place to work for Illinois police officers.

3. Aurora Police Department

What We Like: Excellent pay and great benefits

Location: Aurora, IL

Population: 200,000+

Overview:

The Aurora Police Department has many different career paths that are available to officers, including crime scene investigation and community services.

The department offers competitive pay for police officers as well as benefits such as life insurance, health care options, dental coverage and a generous paid time off (PTO) policy.

Officers also have the opportunity to earn comp time in addition to vacation time.

The Aurora Police Department is looking for dedicated and hardworking individuals who are committed to serving their community.

If you are interested in joining the department, visit their website for more information.

4. Elgin Police Department

What We Like: Well-rounded police department with many opportunities to advance in the agency

Location: Elgin, IL

Population: 110,000+

Overview:

The Elgin Police Department is located just west of Chicago and serves approximately 110,000 people.

This department offers competitive benefits for all employees including life insurance, health insurance, dental and vision coverage.

Officers can also earn comp time for working extra hours.

The Elgin Police Department is looking for qualified individuals who are committed to providing quality service to the community.

If you are interested in joining the department, visit their website for more information.

5. Evanston Police Department

What We Like: Excellent pay and benefits

Location: Evanston, IL

Population: 75,000+

Overview:

Evanston, Illinois is a small city located just north of Chicago. It’s an upscale suburb with plenty of amenities and low crime rates.

The cost of living in Evanston ranks as the lowest on our list at $99,000 per year – but that still places it among the highest-paying cities to work in Illinois.

The city operates a police department with an active force of 131 members, including supervisors and administrators.

They are known for their unique approach to community policing that focuses on problem solving rather than writing citations or arresting people who violate laws.

The city also has created Safe City programs aimed at reducing the risk factors associated with crime such as unemployment, poverty and substance abuse.

The Evanston Police Department offers excellent pay, benefits and work-life balance – but it’s not the most diverse department on our list.

6. Round Lake Park Police Department

What We Like: Strong sense of community and low cost of living

Location: Round Lake, IL

Population: 18,000+

Overview:

The Round Lake Park Police Department is one of the smallest agencies on our list with just 37 members. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in community spirit.

The department is located in Round Lake, IL – a small town with a population of just over 18,000+ people.

The cost of living here is among the lowest on our list. And while Round Lake Park isn’t exactly a bustling metropolis, it has plenty to offer residents who want their own homes and yards.

The police department offers its members strong support from the community.

Residents often participate in various programs such as National Night Out and Shop with Cops.

7. La Grange Police Department

What We Like: Excellent pay and benefits

Location: La Grange, IL

Overview:

The La Grange Police Department is a mid-sized department located in a suburb of Chicago. It has an active force of 71+ sworn officers.

With a population of just over 14,000+ people, La Grange is an upper-middle class suburb in Cook County with great schools and plenty of amenities.

The cost of living ranks among the lowest in Illinois – which makes it a very attractive location for police officers to work.

Officers enjoy excellent pay and benefits as well as strong support from the community.

La Grange residents are known for their high level of civic engagement and participation in local programs such as National Night Out, Shop with a Cop and Police/Community Partnerships.

The police department offers its members several unique programs including Cops N Kids – which pairs officers with at-risk students to provide them with a positive role model.

The department also has a commitment to community policing and problem-solving that sets it apart from other agencies on our list.

8. Park Ridge Police Department

What We Like: Excellent pay and benefits

Location: Park Ridge, IL

Overview:

The Park Ridge Police Department is a small department located in the suburbs of Chicago. It has an active force of 62 sworn officers.

Park Ridge is a picturesque suburb located just northwest of downtown Chicago. It has a population of 37,000+ people and a cost of living that ranks among the highest on our list.

Officers in Park Ridge enjoy excellent pay and benefits as well as a strong sense of community.

The department has a long history of community policing and problem-solving that sets it apart from other agencies on our list.

The department offers its members several unique programs including Shop with a Cop, National Night Out and Cops N Kids.

Officers also participate in the department’s Bike Patrol program which gives them the opportunity to interact with residents in a more informal setting.

9. Gurnee Police Department

What We Like: Diverse and active force

Location: Gurnee, IL

Overview:

The Gurnee Police Department is a mid-sized department located in the suburbs of Chicago. It has an active force of 108+ sworn officers.

Gurnee is a large community with a population of just over 66,000 people.

The department is one of the most diverse on our list with officers from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures.

This diversity helps to create a strong sense of community within the department.

Officers here enjoy excellent pay and benefits as well as plenty of opportunities for overtime.

Gurnee is also one of the best places for police officers to live on our list with a cost of living that ranks among the lowest in Illinois.

10. Batavia Police Department

What We Like: Excellent pay and benefits

Location: Batavia, IL

Overview:

The Batavia Police Department is a small department located in the suburbs of Chicago. It has an active force of 43 sworn officers.

Batavia is a historic community with a population of just over 26,000 people.

The cost of living ranks among the lowest in Illinois and makes it an attractive location for police officers.

Officers here enjoy excellent pay and benefits as well as plenty of opportunities for overtime.

The department offers its members several unique programs including Shop with a Cop, National Night Out and Cops N Kids.

11. Crystal Lake Police Department

What We Like: Excellent pay and benefits

Location: Crystal Lake, IL

Overview:

The Crystal Lake Police Department is a mid-sized department located in the suburbs of Chicago. It has an active force of 80+ sworn officers.

Crystal Lake is a large community with a population of just over 47,000 people.

The department offers its members excellent pay and benefits as well as plenty of opportunities for overtime.

Officers here also enjoy a strong sense of community.

The department has a commitment to community policing and problem-solving that sets it apart from other agencies on our list.

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