CHICAGO – Continuing with his commitment to giving law enforcement the tools they need to protect the public, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed Senate Bill 1089, giving the Illinois State Police (ISP) and local law enforcement agencies additional funding to purchase new squad cars and maintain current vehicles. The new law levies a $25 fine on traffic offenders who are granted court supervision and transfers $20 of the fine to the police agency that issued the citation.
“Our police work hard to keep the public safe. But they can’t effectively patrol our roads and respond to emergencies without safe and reliable vehicles. This new law will give police agencies around the state additional assistance when it comes to replacing and maintaining patrol cars,” said Gov. Blagojevich.
SB 1089, sponsored by state Senate President Emil Jones (D-Chicago) and state Representative Jim Sacia (R-Pecatonica), offers an additional funding source for the purchase and upkeep of squad cars. Currently, 40 percent of ISP vehicles have more than 140,000 miles; some with more than 200,000 miles. ISP estimate that SB 1089 will raise over $15 million that will be used to purchase over 500 new squad cars next year, with roughly half of the new cars set aside for ISP and half for local law enforcement agencies across the state. In Fiscal Year 2006, ISP was able to order about 500 new squad cars.
“Although older police cars are auctioned at a reduced price, no program currently exists to assist law enforcement agencies with the purchase of new vehicles. This legislation provides that assistance and also provides that money from this fund may only be used for the purchase and maintenance of new vehicles,” said Sen. Jones.
“I so appreciate President Jones moving this bill through the Senate and the Governor signing it into law,” said Rep. Sacia. “This bill provides the much needed revenue stream for squad cars for the Illinois State Police and will be a great benefit for all Illinois law enforcement.”
“Law enforcement now has newly created funding designated to replace many of the high-mileage squad cars our officers drive while assigned to their patrol duties. Officers will be better equipped to respond to citizens’ needs and to enforce the traffic safety laws,” said Illinois State Police Director Larry G. Trent. “I’d like to express my gratitude to the Governor and General Assembly for continuing to support law enforcement with the passage of SB 1089.”
Last year in Illinois, 771,266-ticketed motorists were granted court supervision. When permitted, supervision allows the motorist to resolve their case and pay their fine without having an infraction as part of their permanent driving record. By keeping the driving record unblemished, motorists maintain their insurance rates at reasonable levels and can prevent the loss of their driver’s license. To prevent abuse of the supervision privilege, supervision is not available to individuals possessing a commercial driver’s license.
Building on his commitment to public safety, Gov. Blagojevich last week signed Senate Bill 1088 to expand the ability of local police agencies to use money received from driving under the influence arrests to combat alcohol-related crimes.
Senate Bill 1089 goes into effect January 1, 2007.