State Senator Steve McClure (R-Springfield) has passed legislation designed to give new protection options to Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) investigators.
“This bill will give DCFS investigators another tool that they don’t currently have that could buy them enough time to escape a potentially deadly or violent situation,” said McClure.
Despite the fact that mace and pepper spray are legal to be carried by people in Illinois, DCFS investigators currently aren’t allowed to.
Senate Bill 1486, filed by Senator McClure, would give DCFS investigators the option to carry mace or pepper spray while on the job. The legislation also directs the Illinois State Police to create a training program on the safe and proper usage of mace and/or pepper spray. Completion of the program would be necessary for investigators to be allowed to carry mace.
The legislation is in response to the murders of two DCFS investigators. Deidre Silas was stabbed to death in January at a home in Thayer during the course of an investigation. In February of 2018, Pamela Knight died in the hospital from injuries sustained during a brutal attack that occurred while she was trying to take a child into protective custody.
The legislation passed the Illinois Senate on February 25th.
In addition, McClure co-sponsored Senate Bill 3197, which provides the same health insurance benefits to the families of DCFS investigators killed in the line of duty as those that are available to slain law enforcement officers’ families. That bill recently passed the Senate as well.