The State Police Movement in Illinois
The previous chapter set forth the facts and events concerning the process of creating state-controlled law enforcement agencies in Illinois. This chapter presents an analysis and interpretation of that process by going behind the events to examine the interaction patterns of those groups and individuals involved in the state police issue. Specifically, an explanation will be offered for why proponents of a military-like state police failed in their attempts to create such an organization.
Over eighty groups and organizations went on record in support of the Dunlap state police bills. Obviously, many more organizations could be included if local branches of such umbrella groups as the Illinois Bankers' Association and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce were counted. On the surface, it appeared that there was widespread and diverse support for the state police among the various civic, commercial, and manufacturing organizations of the state. However, this broad- based support was more apparent than real. Support for the state police was the product of a well-organized campaign of public relations, subtle coercion and propaganda carried out by a small cooperative group of individuals. These people formed the nucleus of the "state police movement" in Illinois.