ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Governor Bruce Rauner announced the next steps in a comprehensive plan to combat hate crimes in Illinois through improved training of law enforcement.
As directed by the Governor last month, Illinois State Police worked with the Anti-Defamation League to create a new curriculum for Illinois State Police Cadets to better identify, investigate and prosecute hate crimes.
"Hate crimes are designed to instill fear in a minority community -- to terrorize someone for being a minority -- and we have laws in place that recognize the uniqueness of these crimes and increase penalties for them," Governor Rauner said. "However, having these laws on the books isn't enough. We need to ensure our law enforcement around the state have the training to recognize, investigate and help bring perpetrators of hate crimes to justice."
This training will strengthen the knowledge and skills of officers as well as provide officers with ideas on how to work more effectively to change community norms that foster tolerance of and indifference toward hate crimes.
"The Anti-Defamation League is happy to work with the Illinois State Police in providing training and enhancing their overall training programs," said Jessica Gall, Associate Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League said. "Hate crimes and hate incidents have a unique and devastating impact in our communities. Training first responders to identify, investigate and appropriately respond to these types of crimes, will only serve to strengthen the relationships that law enforcement has in our community. The ADL commends the Governor's Office and the Illinois State Police on taking a leadership role in working to improve their response to crimes of this nature."
Governor Rauner announced last month that Illinois would not be silent on hate and is working aggressively with the General Assembly to strengthen Illinois' hate crime laws and curb anti-Semitic boycotts of Israel, and improve anti-hate education in schools.
"Our agency is proud to be collaborating with our statewide partners to strengthen curriculum and training efforts to ensure that our responses to criminal acts of hate and discriminatory acts go hand in hand, " IDHR Acting Director Janice Glenn said."Those who come to our agency for support are quite often the most vulnerable in our society and these measures put us in a better position to help those who come to the Department of Human Rights with a possible hate crime."