By T. C. Mayfield and Frank Conklin, The Chicago Times
September 21, 2022
ORLAND PARK, IL – In response to the controversial SAFE-T Act, Orland Park announced a new policing program involving the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
According to the new plan, which was approved Monday, Orland Park has agreed to make two Orland Park police officers part time ATF agents which will open the door to submitting cases directly to the Assistant US Attorney. The plan is set to sunset in 2027.
Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau believes this is one way to get around the controversial SAFE-T Act. The SAFE-T Act, or Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today Act, will make Illinois the first state to eliminate cash bail with the expectation that released alleged criminals will appear in court of their own accord. It has been reported that nearly 100 Illinois state’s attorneys oppose the new law, which will take effect January 1, 2023.
“This came about because our police department was looking for ways to bypass both Kim Foxx who often times doesn’t charge some of these cases, and often times we get very poor bails, and with the SAFE-T Act, it’s going to be much worse, so this allows us to go to the federal government and will allow them to not only bring charges, but hold people on bail, so that will be great for us as well,” Pekau said in a statement.
Kim Foxx, the Cook County State’s Attorney, has been under fire for her policies on limited bail and out right release of alleged criminals awaiting trial. Some of the released alleged criminals have been involved in violent crimes that have ended in murder on the streets of Chicago.
Governor J. B. Pritzker believes the SAFE-T Act will address the economic disparities of the criminal justice system.
“Making sure that we’re also addressing the problem of a single mother who shoplifted diapers for her baby, who is put in jail and kept there for six months because she doesn’t have a couple of hundred dollars to pay for bail. So that’s what the Safe-T Act is about. Are there changes, adjustments that need to be? Of course, and there have been adjustments made and there will continue to be. Laws are not immutable,” Pritzker decreed in press conference.
Sources in Springfield admitted the SAFE-T Act was passed so quickly that many lawmakers did not take the time to read what was written in the act.