A Letter to Community Leaders Regarding Crime

Dear Community Leaders, 

The crime occurring around the country in every large city in the U.S. is complex. Simply said, crime is everywhere. 

Earlier this year, we hosted a virtual community forum with Sheriff Tom Dart, who provided illuminating details on gaps in the criminal justice system, specifically electronic monitoring. In addition, Sheriff Dart provided honest answers to the attendees of the virtual town hall. 

Watch the forum here: https://fb.watch/cYQ5hoZBIE 

I attended numerous community safety walks with Alderman Smith, Tunney, Waguespack, and Martin in Police Districts 18 and 19 with the commanders and patrol officers. This provided an even more granular snapshot of what is going on in our neighborhoods and on our streets. These conversations helped me focus on what tangible results were within reach to help our community before summer went into full swing. 

After conversations with the City of Chicago and local law enforcement, I returned to Springfield and fought to secure $1.4M in the budget exclusively for the 18th and 19th Police Districts. This appropriation will pay for technology and additional tools such as License Plate Readers (LPR), Pods, etc. These technology tools allow the Illinois State Police to tap into these LPR systems and provide an extra set of eyes to assist CPD in solving crimes.



To maximize the implementation of the technology, I passed HB 260 to clarify that Dusable Lake Shore Drive should be considered a highway. This new law will enable our community to be eligible for future resources from the Illinois Dept of Transportation. Moreover, it will allow ISP to tap into this technology, assisting CPD track vehicles moving through our city streets and the highway system. Read HB 260 here: tinyurl.com/y8848wcm. Law enforcement can not use these cameras for petty crimes. (These are not red light cameras). 

FY 2023 Public Safety Investments in the Illinois budget: 

  • Approximately $1 billion for violence prevention, youth employment, and diversion programs to deliver a multi-year investment in these programs far exceeds previous levels. 

300 new State Police troopers, the single most significant dollar investment in state history to expand cadet classes 

$240 million for the Reimagine Public Safety Act ($235 million ARPA, $5 million GRF) 

$30 million to support the Violent Crime Witness Protection Program $20 million for grants to non-profits for security investments to prepare for hate crimes 

$30 million for Local Law Enforcement Body Camera grants 

$20 million for less lethal device grants and associated training expenses $10 million for the Co-Responder pilot program 

$10 million for a local law enforcement retention grant program 

$8 million for a multi-year equipment replacement program at the Illinois State Police that includes radios, body and car cameras and cloud storage 

$5.4 million for increased staffing and equipment at new forensic lab in Decatur, after expanding state forensic capacity in Chicago and Joliet 

$20 million for cameras and automatic license plate readers on state routes



Over $500 million is dedicated to addressing public safety 

The FY2023 budget makes enormous investments in public safety. But clearly, there is more to be done. You have my commitment that I will continue to work with you on these matters. When we work together and puzzle through these complex problems, I am confident that our streets will be safer. 

Thank you all for all you do. I hope I’ll see you around the neighborhood soon! Warmest regards, 

Sara Feigenholtz 

State Senator | 6th District