04212021CM0529SPRINGFIELD – The Senate 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.

“When an officer is killed in the line of duty, it’s a reminder to all of us that any career in law enforcement can be dangerous and sometimes deadly,” Bennett said. “With the Illinois courts considering an expansion of home and field visits, more probation officers may soon be at increased risk of getting involved in a potentially violent situation. This legislation provides increased protections for them and their families.”

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 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.

“Probation officers go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to serving the community,” Bennett said. “This program gives these brave individuals peace of mind that their families will be taken care of, should the worst happen.”

Senate Bill 1691 advances to the House floor for further consideration.

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