SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison’s (D-Lake Forest) newly signed law will provide police officers with additional tools and training opportunities to help keep communities safe. 

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“One message that I frequently hear across the district is that public safety and a rise in crime continue to be a major concern,” Morrison said. “Yet staffing shortages are hindering police from best protecting their communities.

Morrison championed House Bill 3863, which creates the Law Enforcement Recruitment and Retention Fund to support departments through the hiring and training processes and help with retention strategies.

The measure will provide grants to law enforcement agencies for hiring and retention of officers. Funds could also be used for mental health care for officers, safety equipment and training, or improvements in jails. Mental health services for inmates could also be funded through this grant.

“This law will help keep our communities safer,” Morrison said. “These efforts support the valuable work that law enforcement does in our communities and in our state every day and every hour.”

Morrison also co-sponsored a number of other measures at providing relief and assistance to law enforcement officers, including House Bill 1571, which requires the DHS to establish and administer an Off-Hours Child Care Program to help first responders and other workers identify and access off-hours, night, or sleep time child care. 

She also supported House Bill 1321.The measure creates grants through the Department of Human Services related to behavioral health care services for first responders that units of local government, law enforcement agencies, fire protection districts, school districts, hospitals, and ambulance services that employ first responders may apply for.

Morrison’s House Bill 3863 was signed into law Tuesday and takes effect immediately. 

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