Governor JB Pritzker spoke about violent crime in Illinois on Tuesday, but a political organization called the comments rhetoric.
The governor spoke in Rockford about his Reimagine Public Safety Act, which will create the Office of Firearm Violence Prevention that will focus on communities with the highest levels of firearms activity. The office is headed by violence prevention officer Chris Patterson, who will earn approximately $ 153,000 a year.
“People in Chicago, Peoria, East St. Louis, Champaign, and communities across the state deserve to be safe,” said Pritzker.
Pritzker said his goal is to allocate $ 250 million over the next three years to help reduce violence in Illinois neighborhoods. Funding will come from federal and state funds, including $ 50 million in the current budget. But the $ 100 million in funding won’t be a safe bet with lawmakers.
“This is nothing more than an attempt to make positive headlines on a topic that he has long refused, and I think crime has become a major problem not just for the Chicagoland area but across the state,” said Kayleen Carlson, executive director of Illinois Increasing Action.
Chicago and other areas of the state have seen some of the worst violence in years as the country continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Reimagine Public Safety Act includes housing and health resources, job opportunities, and violence prevention programs for youth at risk.
The Office of Firearm Violence Prevention is asked to identify the 10 most violent areas in Chicago based on the number of firearm victims per capita from 2016 to 2020. Grants will also be available for the most violent communities in the Downstate.
State Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, and other Republicans made anti-crime proposals that would have diverted more state funding to law enforcement and allowed counties outside Cook County to get out of state cash bail law . These measures found little support from the Democrats.
Pritzker recently issued an order declaring gun violence a public health crisis in Illinois, but Carlson isn’t impressed.
“He made this executive order that will fix all the problems it won’t,” said Carlson. “The governor just took no action, and I think the Illinois families are just sick of it.”