When the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System sent out an email to local police officials asking if they would respond to critical situations in Chicago, Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain and Kendall County Sheriff Dwight Baird both said no.
Baird said he would not send any of his deputies into Chicago, because if there was an incident, he would be concerned about his deputies being investigated by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.
“It sounds like Mayor Lightfoot is creating her own emergency with the decisions she’s making with her police force and I don’t feel that ILEAS assistance in this situation would be warranted,” Baird said. “I would help an officer out if they were distressed. But she’s bringing this upon herself.”
Hain said that was not what the ILEAS was for.
“When Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System activates us, it’s for an explosion, a plane crash, a tornado, civil unrest … not due to lack of planning and support of law enforcement by the city,” Hain said.
According to an expanded statement on Facebook, Hain wrote, “I believe the polarization between the community and police is only reinforced by current Chicago politics. I will not send my personnel to Chicago, unless an officer is under direct duress, because I cannot support this slanted agenda. I also will not allow my deputies to be subjected to use force in the city and be under the prosecutorial jurisdiction of the Cook County State’s Attorney.”
“The Chicago Police Department has a dedicated force of professional humans who deserve all of the support the nation can offer. The solution is simple; allow Chicago Police to be the police, support their human resources, and operate treatment and vocational support programs led by people in uniform,” according to his post. “This is how Chicago can halt crime and build bridges with the community like we’ve done here in Kane.”
The issue is that Mayor Lightfoot has required all police officers to be vaccinated for COVID-19 and has threatened to suspend officers who have not reported their vaccination status.
“It’s a lack of support from the mayor on down for law enforcement in the city and I extend it to the vaccine mandate,” Hain said.
“Law enforcement has been used as a scapegoat for poor community relations in the minority community for generations,” Hain said. “It’s time for federal, stated and local government to take responsibility for social services and programming for equal opportunities and stop blaming law enforcement for why people are engaging in criminal activity.”
Hain said though he and his family are all vaccinated, he is not requiring all his deputies to be vaccinated. About 60% of Kane deputies – the same percentage as Chicago officers – are vaccinated, he said.
The reasons vary for not getting vaccinated, including heath, political reasons, personal views and some trying to have children and don’t want to take the vaccine in case it compromises that ability or affects the child, Hain said.
“How do I go to my employees, ‘I don’t care about that, you have to take a shot.’ Again, it’s a personal life choice,” Hain said. “I don’t feel I can tell people what to put in their body.”
Baird said he also did not mandate his deputies to get the vaccine.