KANKAKEE, IL – The Kankakee County Board Finance Committee has agreed to propose hiring a new deputy for the Sheriff’s Department. The position would be paid for by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and includes salary, benefits, and equipment for the new officer.
The request will now go before the Kankakee County Board for a vote.
The DCFS is authorized to hire a local deputy to help with security for home visits under a law passed by the state legislature years ago. The new deputy would be allowed to work for the County when not working for DCFS.
The move comes after the DCFS Office of Inspector General released an annual report in January, identifying a 40% increase in child deaths involving the agency in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022. The report recorded the highest number of child deaths involving the agency in at least two decades.
Charles Golbert, the Cook County Public Guardian and a longtime advocate for DCFS reforms, called the number of deaths “unacceptable” and noted that the agency was still out of compliance with a 1991 federal consent decree.
The proposed new deputy would aim to address some of these concerns by providing additional security during home visits. The request will now go before the Kankakee County Board for a vote.