About Carl Cannon

C.O. Carl Cannon

Carl Cannon has spent most of his career in law enforcement. After graduating from Peoria (IL) Central High School, Cannon joined the U.S. Army where he distinguished himself in the ranks of the Military Police. Upon retiring from the military, SFC Cannon was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (3rd Oak Leaf Cluster), the Army Commendation Medal (4th Cluster), and Army Achievement Medal (5th Cluster). He also received a Meritorious Unit Award for his role in quelling a riot at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks in 1994. In 2010 Cannon was designated the U.S. Army Illinois Citizen of Interest (COI).

Wanting to return to his hometown when he retired from the military, Cannon accepted a position at the nearby Pekin Federal Correctional Institution. In 2000, he received the nationally recognized Selective Placement Program Manager of the Year for the North Central Region and was on his way to becoming one of the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ best and brightest. That career path was cut short when Cannon decided that he no longer wanted to excel at keeping men and women in prison. Rather, he wanted to focus on what he could do with youth to keep them from going to prison in the first place. And, so began Carl Cannon’s transition from Correctional Officer to Youth Outreach Pioneer.

He has taken his motivational “do right” message to well over 250,000 youth in Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio and Washington D.C.

He now serves as Assistant General Manager of Recreation, with responsibility for Youth Outreach, at the Peoria Park District.

The Peoria Park District's ELITE Youth Outreach program takes at risk youth through a powerful and wonderfully life-transforming program.