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Thursday, May 17, 2012 03:14 pm


When Illinois abolished the death penalty in 2010, it left a big pool of money that had previously been used to ensure people charged with capital crimes got fair trials. Totaling almost $17.8 million, the money was rolled over into a new fund that provides services for families of murder victims and training for law enforcement. Now, the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority and the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board are using some of that money to create an advanced homicide investigator training program. What does this have to do with Springfield? Recall that Forbes magazine listed Springfield as the third most dangerous U.S. city in an October 2011 article. (Curiously, Forbes’ article mistakenly links to a profile of Springfield, Mo. instead of Springfield, Ill.) While the homicide training “will be provided to investigators in Illinois regions with the most reported homicides,” according to ICJIA, guess which Illinois city isn’t on that list: Springfield. Instead, the cities of Chicago, East St. Louis, Rockford, Joliet and Peoria have seen the most homicides since 2005, ICJIA says. Granted, the number of murders isn’t the only measure of violent crime, but it certainly goes a long way toward determining whether or not people feel safe. Maybe it’s not so dangerous here after all.
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