In early spring of 1988, a group of about one hundred officers from all levels of law enforcement participated in a series of meetings with a single goal in mind — to form an association of tactical officers in Illinois. When the smoke cleared, the Illinois Tactical Officers Association was born and incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation. This new association was established for educational purposes to promote and to encourage any educational activities and/or research related to the law enforcement field. It also would afford an opportunity for tactical officers to gather together to compare ideas and experiences. Through education and networking, it was hoped that high-risk operations requiring the use of a tactical team would be made safer.