SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) State Lodge issued the following statements concerning the passage of Senate Amendment 1 to House Bill 4667, legislation that allows all active duty and retired Illinois correctional officers to carry concealed firearms while off duty, a right that all other Illinois law enforcement officers have had for years under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004:
“The Illinois FOP has been fighting for nearly two decades to get the same rights for correctional officers as for other police officers in Illinois, and the day of equality has finally arrived,” said Illinois OP Corrections Lodge 263 President Scot Ward. “Now more than ever in this dangerous, anti-public safety atmosphere, it’s vital that all public safety officers have an equal chance to protect themselves and their families from violent threats while they are off duty or after they are retired.”
“More than any other law enforcement professionals, correctional officers and their families face constant threats from dangerous, convicted felons who would not think twice about assaulting the men and women who helped to keep them confined in jails or prisons,” said Illinois FOP State Lodge President Chris Southwood. “This right to equal self-protection is long overdue, and will doubtlessly help to keep many hard-working correctional officers and their families safer in Illinois.”
The Fraternal Order of Police, 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 34,000 active duty and retired police officers – more than 10 percent of all FOP members nationwide. Visit www.ilfop.org for more information.