DIXON – The city manager will be honored by a justice advocacy group in Chicago Wednesday for working to create the Safe Passage Initiative and helping to draft state legislation to aid such programs.
Danny Langloss, who was the Dixon police chief for a decade before becoming city manager last year, will be recognized by the Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities group with a justice leadership award along with Mundelein Police Chief Eric Guenther.
The Sauk Valley’s Safe Passage Initiative, which launched in Dixon and Lee County in September 2015 and grew to include Sterling, Rock Falls, Whiteside County and other area law enforcement agencies, allows addicts to approach law enforcement, hand over their drugs and go directly into treatment without being arrested.
It was the second of its kind in the nation and the first in Illinois.
"We're making an incredible difference out there, and it's a great feeling to have Dixon lead the way," Langloss said.
This year, Langloss and Guenther worked with the advocacy group to draft Senate Bill 3023, which makes it easier for communities to form their own Safe Passage programs.
The legislation, which was signed by the governor in August, creates the Community-Law Enforcement Partnership for Deflection and Substance Use Disorder Treatment Act, which encourages partnerships between law enforcement and treatment centers, allows for state dollars to go toward funding the programs through the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, and creates a data collection and evaluation process.
“We are excited to recognize leaders whose initiatives are not only preventing and breaking cycles of incarceration here in Illinois, but whose successes are having an impact across the country,” TASC President Pam Rodriguez said in a news release.