MARYVILLE — 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.”

Get The Latest News!

Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.

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.

Article continues after sponsor message

“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 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.”

More like this:

Oct 5, 2022 | Sen. Kris Tharp Hosts Meeting With Metro East Police Chiefs, Plans To Address Concerns On SAFE-T Act

Oct 3, 2022 | Kris Tharp Receives Most Law Enforcement Endorsements In State Senate Races

Dec 6, 2022 | Governor Pritzker Signs SAFE-T Act Amendment

Jul 18, 2022 | Sen. Tharp: Mental Health Services Are Vital To Community Wellness, He Highlights 9-8-8 Importance

Dec 29, 2022 | Statewide Reaction To Judge's Ruling On SAFE-T Act