SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, supported and helped negotiate a package of public safety proposals this week, aimed at supporting law enforcement, increasing expressway police camera use, stopping carjacking, boosting mental health support, helping crime victims and other public safety needs.
“As a former law enforcement official, I know we have to work with law enforcement, prosecutors and advocates to be smart on stopping crime,” Hoffman said. “After months of negotiation with stakeholders, House Democrats this week advanced a series of proposals that work to make our streets safer, support police and help crime victims get the support they need. I’m proud to support these measures.”
Hoffman supported a number of public safety items Tuesday and Wednesday, including:
- House Bill 1568, which funds police and invests in recruiting police officer candidates, partners with higher education and updates officer benefits – including deferred retirement options for Illinois State Police and sheriff’s employees – to make the position more attractive;
- House Bill 1095, which helps victims and witnesses of violent crime come forward and receive access to financial assistance for relocation, while working to create a new Co-Responder Pilot Program aimed at connecting social services with violence survivors;
- House Bill 1100, which addresses carjacking by targeting ringleaders who coerce juveniles to carjack, investing in youth-intervention programs and expanding financial compensation for victims;
- House Bill 1103, which paves the way for law enforcement beyond Cook County and in the Metro East to expand highway camera use and utilize footage in investigations of expressway shootings and other crimes, as well creates a pilot incentive program for residents who share residential security footage that assists in a criminal conviction;
- House Bill 1097, which helps give prosecutors the tools they need to target organized crime, including a two year extension of the state’s RICO Law;
- House Bill 1321, which creates a fund and grant program to provide behavioral health services to first responders, and
- House Bill 1571, which allows the DHS the flexibility to design an off-hours child care program that meets the needs of first responders and off-hours workers.
“If we want to responsibly deal with violence, we have to take a comprehensive approach that is informed by community input,” Hoffman said. “More work remains, but these proposals are a strong step in the right direction.”