Gov. Pat Quinn on Sunday appointed a 29-year-old war veteran who finished in the top 1 percent of his West Point class to direct the Illinois State Police.
"I will work tirelessly," Jonathon Monken said. "My ultimate goal is to serve with distinction."
During a news conference Sunday afternoon at the Thompson Center, Quinn praised the former U.S. Army captain's leadership on the battlefield. Monken led more than 100 tank combat missions in Iraq without losing soldiers or equipment, Quinn said. He also has served in Kosovo and as a recruiter for the Illinois National Guard.
The increasing role of the state police as the local liaison to the federal Department of Homeland Security makes Monken's military experience even more important, Quinn said.
Monken said not having a law-enforcement background should not affect his credibility within the state police ranks. He has not yet decided whether to wear a state police uniform.
29 years old? No police experience? Wanting to make the ISP closer to Homeland Security? Anecdotal evidence shows he could go either way on gun control.
I definitely have my misgivings on this one.