Senator Cunningham


SPRINGFIELD – To help correctional officers and deputy sheriffs utilize their training for secondary employment, State Senator Bill Cunningham passed a measure through the Illinois Senate that would allow correctional officers and deputy sheriffs to carry a firearm off duty.

“Our law enforcement officers are overworked and underpaid,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the Southwest Suburbs. “The ability to utilize peace officer training in secondary employment will help them financially and protect businesses in our community.”

Under current law, the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standard’s Board excludes correctional officers and deputy sheriffs from benefits and protections under the federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act. While federal law deems all correctional officers and deputy sheriffs as qualified law enforcement officers, Illinois is the only state that undercuts these federal protections.

House Bill 4667 modernizes Illinois law to include correctional officers and deputy sheriffs as qualified law enforcement officers for the purpose of carrying a firearm off duty. The change also includes retired correctional officers and deputies who meet training requirements.

Cunningham’s measure will support sheriff’s departments across Illinois in their effort to retain correctional officers.

“From the southern tip of the State of Illinois to the County of Cook and all points in between, corrections units are facing severe officer shortages and retention issues. This important legislation will protect Illinois communities by helping these employers recruit and retain the best staff by offering deputies and correctional officers the same federal protections as law enforcement officers in Illinois. This common sense legislation is long overdue,” Shawn Roselieb, Executive Director Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council.