Sen. Robert Peters

SPRINGFIELD – Crime survivors will soon have a new voice in public safety policy making thanks to the efforts of State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago).

“I fundamentally believe that public safety must belong to the people,” Peters said. “This measure will center crime survivors and put them at the center of the conversation without fear of repercussion.”

House Bill 4736, which would help invest in community-centered public safety by  creating a Crime Reduction Task Force to develop and propose ways to reduce crime across the state. The Crime Reduction Task Force would be made up of a bipartisan group of senators and representatives, alongside law enforcement, advocates, legal and criminal justice professionals and survivors. The measure would also establish a co-responder pilot program.

 The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority would also establish a grant program open to organizations and units of local government to assist in the creation of anonymous tip hotlines or other systems to crime victims and witnesses. Additionally, this measure makes improvements to the state’s existing witness protection, which requires the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority to create a program to assist victims and witnesses who are actively aiding in the prosecution of perpetrators of certain crimes.

“Everyone in every zip code should feel comfortable being able to walk down the street,” Peters said. “No matter where you are, or who you are or where you live you should deserve to feel comfortable and safe. This measure does that by expanding witness protection and by incorporating the voices and needs of stakeholders and survivors.”

The measure passed the Senate on Thursday.