A Springfield native has been chosen as the first female chief doorkeeper for the Illinois House of Representatives.
Nicole Hill, a former Springfield public schools security officer, will lead efforts to ensure order and guarantee the safety of members and visitors of the Illinois House.
“Safety is my vision and everything we do is about preparedness so we just want to be prepared for every event,” Hill said. ”I had never envisioned being in leadership in the House chamber but I’m excited to work with the leaders of Illinois.”
Hill attended Springfield Southeast High School while growing up and became interested in the nursing field. She received several life-saving certifications includi CPR/AED, Stop the Bleed FIRST AID, and began work as a CNA in 2006.
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Hill later earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice at Lincoln Land community college and became interested in security. She was hired as a Springfield public schools security officer and ensured the safety of students and staff for 12 years.
After her predecessor Lee Crawford retired from the House position at the conclusion of the 2022 legislative session, Hill said she saw it as an opportunity to further her career. Crawford held the position for 20 years. Hill was selected from a pool of more than 80 applicants.
“This isn’t just a ‘job’ to Ms. Hill; protecting and caring for people truly is her calling,” said House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch in a press statement.“ After a very thorough application and interview process, I can say with certainty she is the perfect fit to be our House doorkeeper.”
As Hill begins the position she said she’s in observation mode and is getting to know House members and their families. She said her strategy for keeping order in the chamber is de-escalation.
“I think if you de-escalate the situation as you see it forming then you’ll get further than if you didn’t. I think you should also know how to validate people’s feelings because when people know that you understand or care how they feel they react to you differently,” Hill said.
As the first female selected for the position, Hill said she’s proud to set an example for her 14-year-old daughter.
“Security is usually male-dominated so I’m happy to be in this position to show my daughter she can do what she puts her mind to. I really want to be here for a long time and I want to do a good job working with the leaders of this state.”
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March 20, 2023 at 06:53AM