Supporting Our Police: Statement from the Orland Fire Protection District
The Orland Fire Protection District strongly condemns the Illinois Legislature’s adoption of a law, HB 3653, that impose sweeping changes to police departments throughout the State of Illinois that undermine the support of our men and women in Blue and their ability to fight crime.
We believe that rather than strengthen the ability of police to protect our citizens, the adoption of HB 3653 weakens their proven ability to fight crime, ties the hands of police in responding to crime, and sends a wrong message that relies on the stereotyping of all police officers based on wildly exaggerated criticism. We oppose all crimes. But to blame every police officer for the acts of individuals is a form of stereotyping and it is wrong.
As instances of crime continue to rise in Illinois and in Cook County, the worst thing to do is to send the wrong signal, that the legislature does not stand with police in fighting crime, or to imply the vast majority of police are not doing their jobs professionally.
The adoption of this law is an absolute affront to the men and women who wear the police uniform who every day risk their lives to save the lives of law-abiding citizens. Police are put into an impossible situation in which they are forced to respond to emergencies and criminals acts in which the rights of criminals are often given a higher priority than the rights of the victims. In weakening the police, this legislation emboldens criminals to do more believing they have a better chance to avoid prosecution.
The impact of this legislation will tie the hands of police in doing their jobs, expose law-abiding citizens to be victimized by criminals who will be empowered by this legislation, and undermine the public’s confidence at a time when it needs to be strengthened.
We should not be helping criminals avoid being fairly judged for their crimes. We should be standing with law-abiding citizens of every race, religion and national origin to send a message that their lives and their families are important and will be protected.
Further, the manner in which nearly 700 pages of HB 3653 was rushed through the legislature without a full and deliberate debate was intended to minimize public input and response. We are saddened some legislators traded their responsibilities to do what’s right in order to win accolades from extremist activists and enrich themselves politically or even financially.
Shame on those legislators who voted “Yes” and ignored their responsibilities to law-abiding men, women and children exposing them with these provisions by weakening the ability of police to confront crime.
We stand with our brothers and sisters in Blue who risk their lives every day to protect the lives of law-abiding citizens and whose sacrifices keep our families safe.
The Orland Fire Protection District Board of Trustees