ROCKFORD, Ill. – To ensure that those who want to serve their community have the resources they need, state Rep. Dave Vella, D-Rockford, introduced legislation earlier this week that will provide financial incentives to police officers who serve the community where they are from.
“To ensure the safety of our community, it is critical that we are providing support to those in local law enforcement,” said Vella. “Not only does this legislation give much-needed financial support to police officers, it also encourages them to return to the communities where they are from, enhancing the connection to the residents and areas they serve.”
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), violent crime rates in Illinois have been on the rise, increasing each year from 2018 to 2020. To crack down on this trend, Vella introduced House Bill 4267, which will provide grants to cover the tuition costs of police officers who agree to serve the community they are from for at least four years.
Since entering the General Assembly, Vella has worked to support local law enforcement. He passed legislation protecting the retirement accounts of officers by allowing them increased flexibility in where they are able to work without negatively impacting their retirement savings. Vella also helped pass the “First Responder Bill of Rights,” which gives first responders access to behavioral health services and treatment without fear of repercussions from their employers.
“Our police officers put their lives on the line to keep us safe every time they clock in to work,” said Vella. “The least we can do is ensure they do not have to worry about making ends meet financially. I look forward to fighting for this bill and for other pieces of legislation supporting our first responders during the upcoming legislative session.”