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Three Named ILACP Public Officials Of The Year: Sen Rachelle Crowe, Rep Dan Ugaste, State’s Attorney Jamie Mosser

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police has named three people as its Public Officials of the Year for 2021. They are: State Senator Rachelle Crowe, D-Glen Carbon; State Representative Dan Ugaste, R-St. Charles; and State’s Attorney Jamie Mosser, D-Kane County.

“All three of these people have been good friends of law enforcement as new laws have been proposed and discussed,” said ILACP President Mitchell R. Davis III. “Last year, we recognized Attorney General Kwame Raoul and Representative Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) for their advocacy of local law enforcement, and this year we’re recognizing three public officials who stand up for us when we need it most in Springfield and throughout the state.”

Senator Crowe was one of few Democrats who voted in January 2021 against the original SAFE-T Act (HB3653), which the Illinois Chiefs called “seriously flawed” and unsuccessfully urged Governor Pritzker to veto. Then, because the law needed to be fixed, Sen. Crowe in 2021 and early 2022 voted for two trailer bills that the Illinois Chiefs supported.

“Those trailer bills fixed quite a few problems in the original law. Senator Crowe has listened carefully to our concerns and is now helping to push legislation that we still need,” said ILACP Executive Director Ed Wojcicki. “We are grateful that she is a moderate voice of reason in the Illinois Senate.”

Representative Ugaste also voted against the original SAFE-T Act and has been instrumental in bringing the concerns of law enforcement to the House floor, committee hearings and subject matter hearings. As an appointee to the Qualified Immunity Task Force (technically called the Illinois Constitutional Rights and Remedies Task Force), Ugaste has been a thoughtful and persistent opponent of efforts to diminish or remove state-level qualified immunity and tort immunity from law enforcement officers.

He has been an equally outspoken and articulate voice this year on the ad hoc Public Safety and Violence Prevention Task Force, and has asked for and received the Illinois Chiefs’ lengthy list of suggestions to combat violence and make communities safer. Among those testifying to this task force, which is considering an anti-violence and anti-crime package this spring, has been ILACP President Davis (chief in Hazel Crest), Vice President Marc Maton (chief in Lemont), and ILACP Deputy Director Kenny Winslow (retired Springfield chief).

State’s Attorney Mosser stepped up to assist the Illinois Chiefs and other law enforcement advocates during negotiations of all the major criminal justice laws in the past two years. As an attorney, she recommended specific language to improve the SAFE-T Act and to make the trailer bills even more effective for law enforcement.

“Then we provided training to hundreds of chiefs and their departments to help them understand and implement the laws, and Jamie took a leading role in preparing the materials for the training and then being one of our primary trainers,” Wojcicki said. “Our association’s leaders were so grateful that she devoted that much time and expertise on our behalf; the law is now much improved because of her insights and collaborative style.”

Ordinarily, ILACP recognizes its Public Officials of the Year at a legislative reception in Springfield. But due to COVID and the shortened legislative session this spring, all three will be recognized individually either in Springfield or in their communities.

Here is a historical list of all Public Officials of the Year honored by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police. 

Chris Rhodes
Author: Chris Rhodes

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