SPRINGFIELD — To diversify the state’s pool of law enforcement officers, State Senator Willie Preston is leading legislation to prohibit the use of credit history in police hiring decisions.

“An applicant's poor credit history should not preclude that person from becoming a police officer,” said Preston (D-Chicago). “If we want to address the decrease in officers applying and diversify our law enforcement, we have to remove these outdated, classist policies.”

Senate Bill 2608 would prohibit police departments across Illinois from denying employment and promotions based on someone’s credit. Looking at the Chicago Police Department alone, data shows that only 20% of the force is Black.

“This legislation comes in direct response to conversations I’ve had with constituents,” said Preston. “I made a promise to the people of the Sweet 16th District that I would field their concerns and take them to Springfield, and I plan to keep that promise.”

Preston will continue conversations on Senate Bill 2608 in the coming weeks.