Orland Park implements new policy that will bypass SAFE-T Act

Orland Park announced a new policing program Monday night 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.

Pekau says this will be a way for the suburb to get around the controversial SAFE-T Act.

"This came about because our police department was looking for ways to bypass both Kim Foxx who often times doesn't charge some of these cases, and often times we get very poor bails, and with the SAFE-T Act, it's going to be much worse, so this allows us to go to the federal government and will allow them to not only bring charges, but hold people on bail, so that will be great for us as well. But in addition, they will actually cover the costs of any overtime involved within the investigations as well, so it's a way to bring cases to them and help relieve some burden on our financials for our officers as well," said Pekau.

A number of state’s attorneys and sheriffs are also sounding the alarm about the SAFE-T Act.

The law, which will take effect Jan. 1, 2023, will make Illinois the first state to eliminate cash bail, allowing some alleged criminals to be released on a promise to appear in court.

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


"Making sure that we're also addressing the problem of a single mother who shoplifted diapers for her baby, who is put in jail and kept there for six months because she doesn't have a couple of hundred dollars to pay for bail," Pritzker said. "So that's what the Safe-T Act is about. Are there changes, adjustments that need to be? Of course and there have been adjustments made and there will continue to be. Laws are not immutable."

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

"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.

The Orland Park initiative was approved Monday night, and is in effect until 2027.