‘America’s Most Dangerous Law’ Slammed by Sheriff

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(RightIsRight.co) – In the wake of the leftwing push for criminal justice reforms and defunding the police, Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Bullard has expressed strong concerns about an Illinois law that negatively impacts law enforcement and public safety.

Speaking to Fox News, Bullard criticized the Safety, Accountability, Fairness, and Equity-Today (SAFE-T) Act, which came into effect on January 1, 2023, for its “police-bashing rhetoric” and changes that have resulted in a more lenient approach to certain crimes, including reducing the severity of misdemeanors like trespassing and abolishing cash bail statewide.

Bullard attributes these reforms to a perceived distrust of law enforcement, a sentiment that he believes is reflected in the law’s provisions. He points out that the act enables investigations into anonymous complaints against officers, helps revoke officers’ licenses, and prevents the destruction of police misconduct records.

The sheriff is concerned that these changes have led to a sense of unease among officers, even in the most secure agencies. To navigate the extensive requirements of the 764-page law, Jefferson County has enlisted the help of a law firm for policy procedure review, a significant expense for the small, rural county.

One of the most contentious aspects of the SAFE-T Act is the elimination of cash bail, which went into effect on September 18 following legal challenges. Since then, Bullard noted a considerable increase in arrestees being processed and quickly released, including those charged with drug offenses, violent crimes, and DUIs. He also mentioned a 45% reduction in fees collected by the Jefferson County Circuit Clerk’s office under the new system.

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau echoed Bullard’s concerns, calling the law “the most dangerous” he has ever seen. Bullard described progressive reforms like the SAFE-T Act as a strategy to demoralize law enforcement, potentially leading to decreased recruitment and retention.

In an attempt to address staffing shortages, Illinois has taken steps such as allowing non-U.S. citizens to become police officers and modifying pre-employment requirements for state troopers.

Despite these challenges, Bullard emphasized the importance of law enforcement leaders focusing on serving the public and maintaining the honor of their profession. He remains hopeful that rational solutions will emerge to address the issues caused by these legislative changes.