hunter 053024SPRINGFIELD — Despite making up only 2% of Chicago’s population, Black women and girls account for about 30% of the city’s missing persons cases — an alarming disparity that remains the key focus of the Task Force for Missing and Murdered Chicago Women. To support ongoing efforts to address this issue, State Senator Mattie Hunter passed a bill through the Senate on Sunday that would add two seats to the task force for Chicago police officers.

“The number of missing Black women and girls — and families left without answers — is unacceptable,” said Hunter (D-Chicago). “Chicago police officers’ firsthand experience with these cases, paired with improved data practices, will be instrumental in finding these women and ensuring justice is served.”

The Task Force on Missing and Murdered Chicago Women, established through legislation Hunter passed in 2022, is studying methods for tracking and collecting data on violence against Chicago women and working to develop strategies to reduce violence and prevent future tragedies. The task force meets monthly and is due to submit its first report to the General Assembly by Dec. 31.

Members of the task force include legislators and representatives from the Illinois State Police, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, Illinois Department of Public Health, Cook County Medical Examiner and victim advocacy groups. Hunter’s measure would add two seats to the task force for Chicago Police Department officers, who will be nominated by the Chicago police superintendent.

“We need to bring all relevant parties to the table in order to better see the root causes of this issue,” said Hunter. “These women are our neighbors, friends and loved ones, and they need our help. We have to shift the conversation away from blaming each other to working collaboratively to enact real change.”

The changes to the Task Force on Missing and Murdered Chicago Women passed as part of House Bill 4261.