Dennis Ralph Cooper retired from the Illinois Department of Corrections after 32 years of working his way from entry level positions to Chief of Staff/Chief of Community Outreach and Special Assistant to the Director. He previously worked as Deputy Sheriff (Court Security Officer) Kane County Sheriff Department-Batavia, Illinois and with Surgical Specialists of Central Illinois, S.C and part time at Archer Daniels Midland Company, (ADM), Decatur, IL. as a Sensory Specialist.
Dennis was born and raised in Decatur and attended Oakland Grade School, Woodrow Wilson Junior High School, and Stephen Decatur High School. He attended Lake Land Community College, earning an Associate’s Degree in General Studies, May 1972; and an Associate’s Degree in Science in 1972. He also attended Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois 1972-1974; Governor State University, University Park, Illinois in 1990 and Chicago State University, Chicago, Illinois in 1992.
He is very active in the community and has been a lifetime member of the Church of the Living God, Pillar Ground of Truth, Temple #2, Decatur, Illinois. He serves as the Director of Finance, holds a National position as National Treasurer, Summit Team Member, member of the local Deacon’s Board, works with the Youth Training Union Department and Drama Ministry. He is a member of the Concerned Community Citizen’s Group and a past member of the Caring Black Men Group. He is a past president of the Greater Illinois Chapter of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice and a Member of American Correctional Association.
On August 30, 2021 he was appointed to serve on the Decatur City Council and is looking forward to bringing a wealth of experience and ideas to help further grow this community.
Dennis and Virginia have been married 15 years (October) and have a blended family of five children- Michele, Alicia, Cornel, Candace and Shawnn, and nine grandchildren.