SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Meg Loughran Cappel (D-Shorewood) joined her colleagues in the Senate and police advocates Monday to unveil a legislative package aimed at supporting law enforcement officers and improving the state’s criminal justice system.

“Each day our police officers serve our communities with courage and bravery,” Loughran Cappel said. “These brave men and women continuously show up for us, and that’s why my colleagues and I have introduced legislation to address public safety issues facing our communities today.”

To help promote fair compensation across the state, House Bill 4228 requires a county sheriffs’ salary to equal at least 80% of the county’s state’s attorney’s salary. House Bill 3863 creates the Law Enforcement Recruitment and Retention Fund to support departments through the hiring and training processes and help retention strategies.

Body cameras are critical for keeping officers safe as well as improving evidence quality and reducing liability for agencies. House Bill 4608 allows for video retention for evidentiary value and allows grant funds to be used for data storage costs.

In an effort to improve the correctional system and reduce recidivism, House Bill 4364 creates the Fund Mental Health and Substance Use Prevention Fund to allow the Department of Human Services to offer grants and programs in county jails for incarcerated individuals or people who have been recently discharged.

House Bill 3893 extends a sunset date to allow investigators to continue recording conversations for qualified sex and drug offenses from Jan. 1, 2023 to Jan. 1, 2027.

“These men and women are willing to help the most vulnerable people in our communities, even though not everyone will appreciate or even acknowledge their sacrifice,” Loughran Cappel said. “It’s vital that we hire and retain the best officers so that our communities will flourish.”

Loughran Cappel joined the Illinois Sheriff’s Association, the Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the Illinois State Police to express support for the package at Monday’s press conference. She plans to work with her colleagues in the Senate to advance the package before the scheduled April 8 adjournment.