Bureau County Board calls for repeal of Safe-T Act

Resolution ended with a call to action for Illinois Lawmakers

Bureau County Board approved a resolution supporting the repeal of the Illinois House Bill 3653, otherwise known as the Safe-T Act.

The official action was taken Tuesday night after the discussion was brought up during the March meeting.

Following the previous meeting, the issue was taken to the committee level and was returned with a recommendation for approval.

This bill includes a measure that would eliminate cash bail in favor of a pre-trial detention method that prioritizes aspects, such as the level of danger a suspect poses rather than their ability to post bail. The exact parameters for pre-trial detention will be determined by the courts. That measure takes effect in January 2023.

The original SAFE-T Act also changed use-of-force guidelines for law enforcement, created a new police certification system and expanded detainee rights.

Bureau County Sheriff Jim Reed previously said he was in favor of passing a resolution calling for the bill’s repeal.

“We don’t need to reinvent the wheel,” Reed said during March’s meeting. “There’s a lot of feelings about this house bill. Both of our representatives were opposed to this. A lot of legislative changes were made and they were made to benefit the bigger counties, such as Cook and Will counties.”

The Bureau County Board’s resolution acknowledges the work law enforcement workers are required to do and what is asked of them.

“We owe dutiful respect and humble gratitude to the law enforcement officers who work tirelessly with honor, dedication and integrity to protect us and sacrifice so much to maintain and defend civil order in our community,” the resolution reads.

The resolution also states the board stands with officers as everyday guardians of peace and order and it recognizes the importance of continuing to foster positive interactions between state, county and local law enforcement officers and members of the community.

It acknowledges the rising trends in law enforcement response calls related to mental health, domestic abuse and addiction and recognizes the need to support the community and law enforcement with appropriate resources.

The passed resolution ended with a call to action toward Illinois Lawmakers.

“We demand the Illinois General Assembly to value and protect crime victims and law enforcement, those that are on the streets protecting the community and public every day,” the resolution reads. “We demand the Illinois General Assembly repeal HB3653/The Safe-T Act in its entirety.”

The resolution was passed by unanimous approval.

The La Salle County Board will vote soon on whether to ask – but not demand – state lawmakers in Springfield repeal a law enforcement package enacted last year. The county’s Committee on Appointment and Legislation and Rules asked for a letter urging the Illinois General Assembly to overhaul Public Act 101-652.