Survivors of fallen officers call on Senators to pass package of bills supporting police

Illinois State Police headquarters in Springfield, Illinois.
Illinois State Police headquarters in Springfield, Illinois.(Mike Miletich)
Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 4:37 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) - Wives and children of four fallen officers gathered in Springfield to urge Senators to continue a slate of bills supporting police.

The bills haven’t seen much movement since they were introduced in early February by Republicans. The bills would primarily focus on funding police, especially for body cameras and other community engagement measures. No senators were present, Sen. Chapin Rose (R - Mahomet), introduced the speakers, but took very few questions. He argued the event was about the women speaking.

They say 9 officers died in the line of duty in 2021, five by gunfire and three by felonious assault. The family of Lieutenant Aaron Landers, Champaign officer Chris Oberheim, Pontoon Beach officer Tyler Timmins, and Seargant Marlene Rittmanic were present.

“These men and women gave the ultimate sacrifice and they deserve more,” former officer and widow of Tyler Linsey Timmins said. “They deserve to have had a community behind them.”

Besides support from the General Assembly, the families also asked for more support from the public. they called for an end to “hate” of police officers, and were angered by associations between officers involved with police brutality to the profession as a whole.

They criticized the passage of the SAFE-T act in a previous session. Previous measures have been taken in an attempt to repeal the act, but have not been successful so far.

“You have to at least engage,” surviving widow of Rittmanic Lyn Stua said. “Get off your... you know what.”

The family members also delivered letters to the Governor’s office on in the Capitol building.

The bills also missed key Senate deadlines to pass out of the chamber, which means they appear to have died. However, Rose is confident there is still time to pass them and gather Democratic support, citing instances of passing large bills quickly near the end of session.

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