Senator Van Pelt speaks on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – Senator Patricia Van Pelt’s (D-Chicago) measure intended to foster communication between law enforcement and youths and enhance neighborhood safety passed in the Illinois Senate today.

House Bill 243 would allow high schools to establish partnerships with local law enforcement to create law enforcement job training programs for high school students.

“No one is well-served when there is a breakdown in trust and communication between law enforcement and the community,” Van Pelt said. “It’s time to put into effect meaningful programs that help foster positive relationships between law enforcement and our neighborhoods and encourage Chicago youth to pursue careers in law enforcement. If successful, law enforcement agencies will be more diverse and their officers will have a better understanding of the communities they serve.”

The measure also creates the Police Training Academy Job Training Program and Scholarship Fund, which requires the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to administer a scholarship program for students who have participated in such programs and have been accepted into one of Illinois’ public colleges or universities.

Having passed both chambers with bipartisan support, House Bill 243 now goes to the governor’s desk.

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