Fraternal Order of Police statements on Illinois’ Fiscal Year 2016 budget impasse

Fraternal Order of Police statements on Illinois’ Fiscal Year 2016 budget impasse

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) today issued the following statements concerning the Illinois Fiscal Year 2016 budget impasse.

“Law enforcement officers know about hostage situations, where people try to get their way by threatening innocent lives. We know that the best and safest way to resolve a hostage situation is through negotiation. What we are seeing now with the state budget is a hostage situation. Unfortunately we aren’t seeing a willingness to negotiate by the person who is holding that budget hostage, Governor Bruce Rauner,” said FOP State Lodge President Chris Southwood. “That’s very concerning to us, both as law enforcement officers and as Illinois citizens. Refusing to consider any possible solution, even a temporary or partial solution, until your list of demands is met is not a responsible or safe way to deal with programs and services that affect the well being of nearly 12 million Illinoisans. We urge Governor Rauner to stop the posturing and sit down with the legislative leaders to craft a budget and end this crisis.” 

“One of the more recent victims of the state’s budget hostage situation has been the funding to train police officers to deal with the unique and dangerous situations they face every day. This training directly affects the safety of police officers and the people they protect. Government’s function is to provide the services that the private sector can’t. When government fails to provide those services, law enforcement officers, many of them FOP members, must pick up the pieces,” said FOP Labor Council Executive Director David Wickster. “The Governor should not hold for ransom the services millions of people depend on each day, nor should he demean the working men and women of this great state by implying that they are part of the problem. Governor Rauner, don’t shoot the hostage. Negotiate in good faith with the Illinois General Assembly to end this budget crisis.”

The Fraternal Order of Police State Lodge, founded in 1915, is the largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers in the United States. With a proud tradition of officers representing officers, the FOP is the most respected and most recognized police organization in the country. The Illinois FOP, chartered in 1963, is the second largest State Lodge, proudly representing more than 32,000 active duty and retired police officers – more than 10 percent of all FOP members nationwide.

The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council is a law enforcement union representing more than 11,600 professionals in more than 514 bargaining units who work in the criminal justice system. The Labor Council negotiates and enforces contracts and improves salaries, working conditions, and benefits for law enforcement professionals throughout Illinois. Its members include police officers who work for municipalities, universities, and elected Constitutional officials; county sheriff’s deputies, correctional and court security officers; probation officers; 911 telecommunicators; law enforcement records personnel; and some related support staff.

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