As a former probation officer for 16 years in St. Clair County working mostly with juveniles, public safety is a lifelong pursuit. I’m proud to have supported every bill that increases funding for the police, and this year the Illinois State Police has the largest incoming class on record and are building their new state-of-the-art facility in East St. Louis. This facility marks the rebirth of East St. Louis, bringing with it not only highly trained officers, but also economic development and jobs.
I’m also proud of the public safety funding I’ve secured for the district, including:
- $3 million for youth employment in Cahokia Heights and another $3 million for East St. Louis
- $600,000 for school anti-violence programming in both Cahokia Heights and East St. Louis
- $250,000 for youth employment in Brooklyn, Venice, and Washington Park.
In addition to funding, I’m also an advocate for criminal justice reform. I was proud to support the SAFE-T act, which not only increased police funding, but also supports domestic violence survivors, and once it goes into effect in 2023, will eliminate cash bail –only for those charged but not convicted of non-violent offenses. This ensures that only a judge, not your bank account, determines who is released from jail pre-trial.
Supporting victims of crime is also a central part of reforming the criminal justice system. That’s why I worked to start a Co-Responder pilot program in East St. Louis to provide crisis intervention to victims of crimes from trained social workers and other medical professionals.
Emergency Responders are a critical part of public safety, and as many people know, our region doesn’t have enough firefighters. That’s why I fought for a $500 tax incentive for every volunteer firefighter who signs up. As you Senator, I will keep fighting for this important measure to make sure our communities have the emergency resources we need.