R405c4ca38a46ec6c0fd7be483e84f2acSPRINGFIELD – The Senate State Government Committee approved a measure sponsored by State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) Wednesday to add probation officers to the list of individuals that qualify for death benefits if killed in the line of duty.

“Our probation officers put their uniforms on and go to work every day to help protect our communities,” Bennett said. “With the Illinois courts considering an expansion of home and field visits, more probation officers are at increased risk of getting involved in a potentially violent situation.”

While the Illinois Probation and Court Services Association has not reported any probation officers killed in the line of duty, offenders often exhibit violent or charged behavior during interactions with officers.

Bennett’s plan would include probation officers in the Line of Duty Compensation Act, which provides death benefits to individuals such as law enforcement officers, firefighters and members of the armed forces who are killed in the line of duty.

“While nothing can ever replace a loved one, this program gives these brave individuals peace of mind that their families will be taken care of should the worst happen,” Bennett said.

Senate Bill 1681 moves to the Senate floor for further consideration.

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