Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau sounds off Monday night about what he liked and didn't like about changes to the SAFE-T Act. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau sounds off Monday night about what he liked and didn't like about changes to the SAFE-T Act. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Pekau has mixed reactions to SAFE-T Act changes

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By Jeff Vorva

In response to criticism during the election campaign, the Illinois General Assembly has made some changes to the SAFE-T Act.

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau, one of the act’s harshest critics, is not completely satisfied.

Pekau has voiced criticism of the law, especially its no bail provision that kicks in on January 1, in his role as mayor and during his campaign for Congress.

The bill was signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker in 2021.

Pekau’s fears, echoed by many Republicans and a few Democrats, was that certain provisions of the law would harm citizens because of its leniency toward criminals.

The Illinois House and Senate adopted some changes last week, but it was not enough, Pekau said.

“Positive changes were made,” Pekau said at Monday’s village board meeting. “I’m not going to deny that the changes that were made were positive.

“But this legislation is still really bad. It’s moved somewhat in the right direction, so hopefully we won’t see Armageddon on January 1. Hopefully, the other things we can figure out before they become really problematic.”

Pekau said the lame duck session last week considered more than 300 pages worth of changes while the original act has more than 750 pages.

Pekau addressed some of the public concerns that he raised that were being changed and revised last week.

He said he didn’t like a provision that said offenders released on electronic monitoring had to be in violation for 48 hours before law enforcement could act.

“I said they could almost drive to Alaska in that time,” Pekau said. “The new bill removes that portion of the law.”

He also publicly lambasted a ruling that police officers would no longer be able to remove trespassers from businesses or residents.

“The new bill maintains the language instructing officers to issue a citation in lieu of custodial arrest for cases below Class A misdemeanors, which trespassing was reduced to a Class B misdemeanor,” Pekau said. “However, it also specifies that police maintain the discretion to make an arrest if a person is a threat to the community or they continue to break the law. It, however, does not address the lack of immunity for the officers for the discretion that they used.”

Peaku said he applauded those who fought against releasing suspects from county jails on January 1.

“The changes made in the new law will apply to those charged with crimes after that date, according to the new law,” the mayor said. “Those who were held in lieu of bail before 2023 will be able to petition to have their cases moved to the new system.”

Pekau also took some shots at Pritzker, who won re-election in November.

“The governor lied when he signed the SAFE-T Act,” Pekau said. “He lied when answering questions about the bill. And he spent tens of millions of dollars running defamatory and vulgar false television ads during his campaign.”

Pekau was also critical of opponents who called the mayor and like-minded officials “racists” for opposition of the SAFE-T Act. Those he pointed out as the worst offenders were state Representative Justin Slaughter (D-27th) as well as media fact checkers who disputed the anti-SAFE-T Act claims.

“I haven’t heard an apology from any of them,” Pekau said. “After my comments were made [several media outlets] supposedly fact checked my comment and said they were false.

“Then, why the changes? Why was any of this changed if it was false? Because we told the truth and the fact-checkers did not.”

2 Comments

  1. jnl comedy videos jenell on December 9, 2022 at 6:12 pm

    Well what about individuals, crossing the border and committing crimes and going back home and stealing jobs 😜 what’s different 🤔 and for individuals that’s home and can’t afford bond is stress cause they are homeless and jobless are committing crimes, do to them can’t take care of their kids! Also false arrest from police officers, that lie on individuals to make their quoter…



  2. Tony S. Babnik on December 10, 2022 at 2:56 pm

    It seems to me, & the Bible says this, that Mankind LOVES DARKNESS & THAT THE HEART IS DESPERATELY WICKED . . . PERIOD . . .
    WHY WOULD ANY SANE PERSON BE IN FAVOR OF ANY LAW THAT PUTS ARRESTED OFFENDERS BACK ON THE STREETS INDEFINETLY WITHOUT BAIL. I THINK THE ANSWER IS THAT THESE PEOPLES’ FAMILIES & FRIENDS ARE CAREER CRIMINALS. THEY WANT TO CREATE A “NEW SUBCLASS” IN OUR SOCIETY . . . A “PRIVIEGED CRIMINAL” CLASS . . .
    S M H !!! ISN’T THAT JUST SWEET & TENDER . . . TO WARM THE INNERMOST COCKLES OF EVERYONES’ HEARTS . . . 😐😬😕🤬🤬🤬
    ENOUGH ENOUGH . . . IT HAS TO BE OBVIOUS TO THOSE WHO HAVE NOT LOST THIER MINDS YET, THAT WE HAVE SEVERELY CORRUPTED & PERVERTED “LEADERSHIP” IN PLACE WHO ARE HELL-BENT ON MAKING CRIMINAL ACTIVITY COMPLETELY ACCEPTABLE FOR THE NON-CRIMINALS IN OUR SOCIETY . . .



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