Local State Rep. Supports New Anti-Gang Legislation

Local State Rep. Supports New Anti-Gang Legislation

<font size="3" face="Times New Roman"> </font><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-autospace: ; mso-layout-grid-align: none;" class="MsoNormal"><font size="3"><font face="Times New Roman">It's been a deadly 2013 so far in the city of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Rockford</st1:place></st1:city>. Many in the community believe gangs are to blame for the violence. Nw anti-gang measures are in the books hoping to stop gangs where they try to find their newest members. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></font></font></p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"> </font><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" class="MsoNormal"><o:p><span size="3" style="font-family: Times New Roman;">&nbsp;</span></o:p></p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"> </font>


It's been a deadly summer in Rockford. 67th district state representative Chuck Jefferson is fed up with the violence.


"I think it's terrible," he said. 


So Jefferson took action supporting two anti-gang house bills that are now law.  The first creates a gang crime witness protection program. It assists victims and witnesses who are helping prosecute perpetrators of gang crime. The fund will help with relocation and living costs.


The second will require courts and law enforcement to report to public school principals when a student is detained for illegal gang activity. The law's goal is to monitor gang related crime.


"I think that it's going to help them tremendously. It's going to give them a lot of leverage that they didn't have before," explained Jefferson.


When asked about how the new legislation will help Rockford Public Schools RPS gave Eyewitness News this statement saying "gang violence isn't an issue in Rockford Public Schools."  


But they did say RPS will implement any new laws to better protect students.


Looking to the future Jefferson hopes the legislation supports programs already in place and builds more partnerships. "On a weekly daily basis someone else has been murdered and we have to make sure that we do everything we can to try and stop the violence," he said.


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