Combatting violent crime is new State’s Attorney J Hanley’s top priority

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Fresh out of his swearing-in ceremony Tuesday night, Winnebago County State’s Attorney J Hanley says he’s ready to get to work. Cutting down violent crime is at the top of his list of priorities.

Winnebago County State’s Attorney J Hanley is settling into his new office.

“The first few days have been great so far. Everybody has been very supportive. Everyone at the courthouse staff, at the office, even the community. So, it’s been a great two days,” Hanley said.

Hanley has a transition team of 8 people to help him in his new role, including former State’s Attorney Paul Logli and former 17th Circuit Court Judge Rosemary Collins.

“They really acted as a sounding board for some of the decisions I have made and will make in the future so it was really humbling that they were willing to help,” Hanley said.

The city of Rockford is on track to have the highest homicide rate since 1996. Hanley knows there’s a crime problem and is looking into different ways to combat it.

“I agree there’s a gun crime pandemic and so we’ve got to address violent crime–specifically gun crime. I’m still pushing for a gun court or a specific court call that would handle the gun crimes and we look to punish as swiftly as possible,” Hanley said.

“I want to be at the forefront of mental health-related services and how it relates to the criminal justice system,” he added.

Hanley tells us he will be looking into the business closures due to COVID-19, like his predecessor Marilyn Hite Ross.

“I’m meeting with the health department this afternoon and we’re going to discuss the mitigation and enforcement efforts,” Hanley said.

But before any of that, Hanley will hire new staff to help hit the ground running.

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