Three Illinois Congressmen introduce legislation to raise police salaries, hire more officers

In honor of National Police Week, three U.S. Representatives from Illinois recently introduced the David Dorn Back the Blue Act. 

The measure was introduced by U.S. Reps. Mike Bost, Rodney Davis and Darin LaHood. All three are Republicans.

The bill would authorize $15 billion through the U.S. Department of Justice to help state and local law enforcement agencies hire and retain officers. 

The legislation is named in honor of David Dorn, a retired St. Louis Police Department captain, who was killed on June 2, 2020, while protecting a friend’s store during a violent night of rioting in St. Louis. He served for 38 years with the St. Louis Police Department.

“Defunding the police will not make our communities safer – in fact, the statistics prove the opposite,” Bost said in a news release. 

“Now more than ever, it is critical that we provide our men and women in blue with the resources and training they need to keep our communities safe. 

“I’m proud to once again support the David Dorn Back the Blue Act and stand with our law enforcement officials in Southern Illinois and around the nation.”

Provisions which are part of the David Dorn Back the Blue Act include:

Authorizing $15 billion through the Department of Justice to help state and local law enforcement departments to boost their department personnel.

Retaining existing funding for the Mental Health and Wellness Act services at a minimum level in an effort to not negatively impact existing mental health services; providing that only funding appropriated over the currently authorized level of $7.5 million can be used for the purposes of the bill.

Providing funding for additional officer hires and officer retention for departments that need more manpower on their police forces.

Giving pay raises to officers by allowing recipients to use federal funds to raise the salaries of officers up to 110 percent of the local median earnings.

Excluding cities that defund their police by not allowing any department to receive money for pay raises that recently cut officer salaries.

Including language to ensure that an agency that has reduced salaries in the year prior due to COVID-19 related budget constraints are not penalized, only those seeking to dismantle law enforcement agencies.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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