New law will help protect students, staff by giving police wider authority
August 27, 2009
Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
Under previous Illinois law, had an incident like the shootings at Virginia Tech or Northern Illinois University occurred at a private college in Illinois and the suspect fled the property, campus police would have had no authority to pursue the suspect.
However, thanks to the efforts of Chief Michael Salatino and Sgt. Paul Creekmore of the Benedictine University Police and the support of Illinois State Sen. Kirk W. Dillard (R-24th), Illinois State Rep. Sandra M. Pihos (R-42nd) and David W. Tretter, president of the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities, the police at private colleges throughout Illinois will no longer be handcuffed when it comes to protecting the lives and property of students and staff.
Dillard and Pihos co-sponsored House Bill 2507, which grants private college police the same authority as those on public college and university campuses. After several readings and committee hearings at which Salatino and Creekmore testified, the bill unanimously passed both Illinois houses on May 21 and was sent to Gov. Patrick Quinn on June 19.
The bill was signed by the governor on August 18, 2009. Public Act 096-0594 will go into effect on January 1, 2010.
“Our police officers will now have county-wide jurisdiction and authority to conduct proactive investigations and interface with area law enforcement agencies throughout DuPage and Cook counties,” Salatino said.
The law amended by House Bill 2507, the “Private College Campus Police Act,” grants members of a campus police department the same powers of municipal peace officers and county sheriffs since those powers are for the protection of students, employees, visitors and the interests of the community where the college or university is located.
The law also gives campus police the authority to regulate and control traffic on public ways contiguous to college or university property.
“This legislation now brings all Illinois private colleges and university police departments on par with public institutions in crime prevention and crime reduction initiatives,” Salatino said.
“I am extremely grateful to Rep. Pihos, Sen. Dillard and Mr. Tretter for their tremendous support and unwavering efforts on behalf of college students throughout Illinois,” the chief added. “I also take great pleasure in being associated with Benedictine University, which continues to be a state leader in campus safety initiatives.”
Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ben.edu.