Orland Park Village Board Speaks Out Against SAFE-T Act (Orland Park, IL) — At the September 6, 2022 Orland Park Village Board meeting, a resolution was unanimously approved expressing concern over the new Illinois law entitled Safety Accountability and Fairness Equity Today (SAFE-T) Act.
The resolution, as presented, demands that state legislators work with public safety representatives and all community stakeholders to fix remaining problems with the SAFE-T Act; including, but not limited to, unreasonably limiting the imposition of cash bail, unreasonably limiting police officer discretion to make arrests, imposing unreasonable police certification and decertification standards, mandating unreasonable custodial accommodations; unreasonably allowing offenders to violate terms of their release; and violating victims’ rights as outlined in Illinois law.
“We must not allow this law to stand as passed,” said Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau. “I can’t even begin to tell you how dangerous this act is.” The mayor listed a handful of provisions that will go into effect on January 1, 2023:
- Abolition of cash bail for almost every offense. Including, but not limited to, kidnapping, armed robbery, second degree murder, drug induced homicide, aggravated DUI, threatening a public official and aggravated fleeing and eluding.
- Offenders released on electronic monitoring have to be in violation for 48 hours before law enforcement can act.
- Denies victims their constitutional rights
- Officers will no longer be able to remove trespassers from your residence or place of business
“Someone could decide to live in your shed, and all we could do is give them a ticket,” said Pekau. “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 said. “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.
Trustee Sean Kampas reiterated the board’s support of the Orland Park Police Department. “We’ve said it many times before but it’s always is worth repeating. I believe our police department sets the standard for all others,” said Kampas. “To the women and men of the Orland Park Police Department, thank you. I hope you know just how much our community appreciates and supports you.”
To put into perspective the repercussions of the SAFE-T Act, Trustee Kampas noted a recent 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,” said Kampas. “The DuPage County State’s attorney recently had similar remarks with the over 500 detainees there.”
“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,” said Kampas.
The adopted resolution can be read in its entirety at https://orlandpark.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=11168568&GUID=E6EF6AF6-C68D-4846-9462-8CC693452FB5
Orland Park Village Board Speaks Out Against SAFE-T Act