A local State Senator’s bill to allow DCFS Case Workers to carry pepper spray passed today.
State Senator Steve McClure drafted the bill after the slaying of DCFS worker Deidre Silas in Thayer last month while she was investigating a child endangerment call.
McClure says a bill like his may save a case worker’s life in the line of duty in the future: “I don’t know that this would have saved Deidre’s life, but it could have saved her life. I suspect if this passes that this will at some point save someone’s life. It allows for DCFS investigators only to have the option to carry mace if they pass a training that is put on by the Illinois State Police on how to use mace, when it is appropriate to use it, etc.”
McClure says DCFS investigators currently aren’t allowed to carry mace or pepper spray in the line of duty under state law. Another DCFS investigator, Pamela Knight, was brutally attacked while trying to take a child into protective custody. She died from her injuries in 2018. McClure has said he hopes that mace and pepper spray will act as a deterrent or even a life-saving measure for other investigators in the future to prevent tragedies like these two cases from happening again.
McClure’s bill now moves to the Illinois House for a vote.