Illinois Governor Pat Quinn was at the Elgin Police Department recently as he signed two crime-related bills into law.
House Bill 1258 enables law enforcement agencies to recover funds spent during the course of a drug investigation from convicted drug-dealers. House Bill 3033 allows municipalities to better compete for federal grant money as they actively work to combat gang violence.
“Every community in Illinois deserves the highest level of public safety, and law enforcement must have the tools to prevent, investigate and fight crime,” said Gov. Quinn. “These new laws help ensure that police departments throughout our state have the resources they need to fight drug and gang activity.”
HB 1258 was first introduced in the House by State Rep. Keith Farnham, D-Elgin, after Elgin Police Officer Chris Jensen and Lt. Jeff Adam addressed with Farnham concerns about the costs of investigating and arresting drug-dealers.
“It’s this type of grassroots legislation that can make a difference in communities,” said Rep. Farnham.
Elgin Mayor David Kaptain said he was particularly proud of HB 1258.
“(The bill) first originated within the walls of this very building,” said Kaptain, as he stood in the EPD lobby. “I encourage all employees to take such initiative to creatively solve larger problems.”
Elgin Police Chief Jeff Swoboda said such legislation is needed to ensure communities like Elgin can continue an aggressive stance against crime.
“The Elgin Police Department has a history of being aggressive on both drug dealers and gang-related crime,” said Swoboda. “And our stance is working. Crime in Elgin is at a near 40-year low and it continues to drop. Year-to-date statistics demonstrate that total crime in Elgin is down another 20 percent.”
Both bills were introduced by Rep. Farnham and supported in the Senate by Sen. Mike Noland , D-Elgin.