Oak Lawn mayor becomes latest suburban official to denounce SAFE-T Act

The Oak Lawn mayor has become the latest suburban official to denounce the SAFE-T Act.

The SAFE-T Act is a new law that is slated to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023, and is aimed at reforming Illinois’ cash bail system.

The law will get rid of cash bail entirely. 

It also limits who can be arrested and held in jail based on the crime they are alleged to have committed.

However, a number of state’s attorneys, suburban mayors and sheriffs are sounding the alarm about the new law.

The mayor of Oak Lawn, Terry Vorderer is calling for a complete repeal of the SAFE-T Act, and is asking the village board to approve a resolution at next Tuesday's meeting.

In addition to Vorderer, all six Oak Lawn trustees are opposed to the new legislation. 

The mayor is also encouraging anyone who would like to be heard on this matter, to contact the members of the Illinois Legislation who represent Oak Lawn.


Voderer is not the only suburban mayor against the SAFE-T Act.

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau has criticized Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker for the law, saying he is "not listening" to voters and other elected officials.

The suburb has even gone as far as implementing a new policing program that will bypass the SAFE-T Act

The initiative is an agreement with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that would make two Orland Park police officers part-time ATF agents, Pekau said.

This would allow the local officers to take applicable cases directly to the Assistant U.S. Attorney.

The mayor of Tinley Park also fired on all cylinders against the SAFE-T Act in a YouTube video released earlier this week.

MORE: Pritzker 'sets record straight' on Safe-T Act which ends cash bail in Illinois

"The name of this act is an absolute joke. Because the only people it keeps safe are the multitude of criminals it protects. This act and the legislators who passed it … have completely abandoned the people of Illinois and the police officers who serve them in favor of thieves and murderers," said Mayor Michael Glotz.

Those in support of the law, however, say it’s wrong to keep people in jail simply because they can’t afford bail.

The new law says when a suspect is accused, the court will hold a hearing and may keep them behind bars if they are charged with a forcible felony, including second-degree murder.

Gov. Pritzker says the goal of this law is to address the economic disparities of the criminal justice system.