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Connor backs measure to protect abuse investigators

4/8/2019, 11:15 p.m.
State Rep. John Connor, D-Lockport, is fighting to ensure the safety of Illinoisans who protect children, families and aging adults ...

State Rep. John Connor, D-Lockport, is fighting to ensure the safety of Illinoisans who protect children, families and aging adults by supporting a bill enforcing stricter penalties on people who harass or attack social workers intervening in abusive households.

"Social workers and Department of Children and Family Services investigators are on the front lines of protecting children," Connor said. "Every time they enter a home to protect a child from an abusive family member, they face a potential threat, a lesson we learned in the worst way in the fall of 2017. Pamela Knight, an employee of the DCFS, was killed while trying to take a child into protective custody. Her sacrifice for the children of Illinois should not serve as an unheeded warning."

Connor is supporting House Bill 1482 which increases the penalty for attacking an employee of the Department on Aging Adult Protective Services or an employee of the Department of Children and Family Services. Under Connor's bill, an attack on an abuse investigator in the line of duty could be charged as aggravated battery, which could carry a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.

"We can't take the danger faced by front line social workers for granted," Connor said. "We owe them a debt of gratitude, but more than that, we need to have their backs. This bill is part of that."