The Orland Park Village Board has expressed concerns over the Safety Accountability and Fairness Equity Today (SAFE-T) Act, the criminal justice reform law signed by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker last year.
According to Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau, the law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2023, will:
- – Abolish cash bail for most offenses;
- – Stipulates that criminal suspects can only be detained before trial in cases of forcible felonies that are nonprobational or unless they are considered a flight risk or a danger to someone in the community;
- – Defendants on house arrest while awaiting trial must be given a minimum of two days a week to move freely, without being monitored or being tagged;
- – Officers will be unable to remove trespassers from places of residence or business.
However, since the legislation was rolled out, several people on home confinement have had run-ins with the law while free of supervision during those “essential movement” days when they aren’t monitored, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“We must not allow this law to stand as passed. I can’t even begin to tell you how dangerous this act is,” Pekau said. “Someone could decide to live in your shed, and all we could do is give them a ticket. This is a massive threat to residents of Orland Park, Cook County and Illinois.”
“But it doesn’t end here,” said Pekau. “There is currently a bill in front of the house to remove school resource officers from our schools, which means no school resource officer at Sandburg High School. The city of Chicago has already done this.”
He added, “I personally do not want to see the city of Chicago become the standard for how we conduct public safety because they have abandoned their police officers, abandoned their residents and created a war zone full of criminals.”
“It’s like they won’t stop until they destroy our communities and our society,” explained Pekau. “We all need to take a stand against this, this is a very dangerous bill.”
“As leaders charged with ensuring public safety in our communities, we cannot ignore the complete disregard for the safety of our residents due to the details of this act that will be put in place by state legislators and the impact it will have on our police department’s ability to reduce and deter criminal activities,” said Pekau.
According to Trustee Sean Kampas, who cited a statement by the Will County State’s Attorney: “On July 4th, the Will County State’s Attorney stated that of the 640 detainees, 60 of which have been charged with murder, all of them will have their bonds extinguished in January due to the new pretrial system.”
“The DuPage County State’s attorney recently had similar remarks with the over 500 detainees there,” Kampas added. “I implore our residents to read more about this act, contact your representatives and senators, ask that they remove the provisions that endanger the lives of all citizens, especially our law enforcement officers.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: CHICAGO TRIBUNE
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