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DANVILLE – State Senator Scott Bennett’s (D-Champaign) legislation to add probation officers to the list of individuals that qualify for death benefits if killed in the line of duty was signed into law by Gov. Pritzker.

“Probation officers play an integral role in our communities,” 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 new law 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.

“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.

The legislation, originally Senate Bill 1681, was signed into law Friday and takes effect Jan. 1, 2022.

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