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Tharp launches Listening Tour to address safety concerns in the 56th District

State Senator Kris Tharp is launching a listening tour in the Metro East to address concerns with the SAFE-T Act.

“My family and I have worked in law enforcement our entire lives,” said Tharp (D-Bethalto). “My priorities remain ensuring our communities are safe, keeping criminals off our streets and providing law enforcement with the tools to do their job. The goal of my listening tour is to make sure these vital concerns are addressed and heard in Springfield.”

Newly-appointed Tharp does not support several provisions in the SAFE-T Act and is working with the law enforcement community to file new legislation to address concerns about:

  • Ensuring those accused of violent offenses are kept behind bars until trial to keep communities safe;
  • Providing an appropriate amount of judicial discretion while trying cases and;
  • Clarifying the definition of flight risks to ensure it is clear and address the issues created by individuals who fail to appear in court.

Due to Tharp’s background in law enforcement, he was chosen to partake in discussions to draft commonsense legislation to alleviate and clarify concerns. He will be directly taking the concerns from the 56th district to the negotiating table, where he pledges to stand up and fight to keep communities across Illinois safe.

“Now more than ever, it’s vital that we stand up and advocate for the safety of the 56th District,” Tharp said. “As a member of law enforcement and a state senator – I will continue to fight to address these concerns. We cannot turn our backs on our brave officers who put their lives on the line every day.”

Tharp was not a sitting member in the General Assembly when the SAFE-T Act was voted on in the winter of 2021. Like his predecessor, former State Senator and current U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Illinois Rachelle Crowe, he would have voted against the measure.

He urges residents, community advocates, law enforcement officers and those working in the court systems to reach out to his office with their input and ideas on ways to keep communities safe.  Individuals can call his Maryville office at (618) 251-9840 or send him an email at www.SenatorTharp.com/contact-us to provide their input.

“Government works best when we work together to address issues and concerns,” Tharp said. “My office is available to assist and listen to the opinions and thoughts of our constituents. I urge folks to contact our office and share your insight.”

Brief Bio: Senator Kris Tharp is the only member of the Illinois Senate who is also currently serving as a police officer and has nearly 25 years of law enforcement experience. Presently, he is a captain and the jail administrator for the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and also serves as a deputy commander for the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis. With deep family roots in the criminal justice system, Tharp’s wife Jaime works as a correctional officer and his eldest son works as a police officer in the Metro East.

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