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Illinois State Police mourn loss of District 6 trooper

Illinois State Police Trooper Ryan Albin recognized as ‘true crime fighter.’

By Dan Campana

Funeral services for Illinois State Police Trooper Ryan Albin are scheduled for Thursday, a week after the 11-year veteran died in a traffic crash while on patrol.

Albin joined ISP in January 2006 and was assigned to the Pontiac-based district as a K-9 officer. He marked his career with significant drug, weapon and illegal cigarette seizures, while also serving as a juvenile officer, a Fraternal Order of Police trustee and member of the National Criminal Enforcement Association.

“Our hearts are heavy with grief as we mourn the loss of Trooper Albin,” Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz said. “I extend my deepest sympathy to Trooper Albin’s family, friends and coworkers. I pray that those who cared for and loved him find the strength they need during this most difficult time. No further words can express the pain and loss we are all feeling.”

ISP said Albin was traveling on Interstate 74 near Farmer City – which is located between Bloomington-Normal and Champaign – around 3 p.m. on June 28 when his squad collided with a box truck as both vehicles entered a construction zone in the westbound side of traffic. He died several hours later.

Albin’s K-9, Biko, was in the rear of the car at the time of the crash, but suffered only minor injuries, officials said.

“Trooper Ryan Albin was universally loved by his peers. He was a big man who spoke softly, yet had a booming laugh that instantly let everyone in the building know he was there,” District 6 Cmdr. Steven Riesenberg said. “Ryan was a true professional and a true crime fighter. He will be sorely missed.”

His career accolades included an award from the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists in 2010 when he recorded 101 drunken driving arrests and nominations for District 6 Officer of the Year and DeWitt County Officer of the Year in 2015 and 2009, respectively.

Albin grew up in Bellflower, not far from where the crash occurred. He graduated from Blue Ridge High School and obtained his Bachelor’s Degree from Eureka College. Albin is survived by his parents, two sisters and two children – a six-year-old daughter and two-year-old son.

Visitation was scheduled for Wednesday at Albin’s former high school. Thursday’s funeral will also take place there prior to burial at Bellflower Cemetery.