JOLIET — Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow has been named the 2015 State’s Attorney of the Year by the Illinois State Crime Commission, which is recognizing his many initiatives to protect children.
This year marks the fourth occasion that the Illinois State Crime Commission has bestowed this prestigious honor on State’s Attorney Glasgow over the past two decades. The Crime Commission named him its State’s Attorney of the Year for the first time in 1996. The State’s Attorney will be honored at the Crime Commission’s 19th Annual Salute to Those Who Make a Difference Awards Dinner on June 17 at the Drury Lane Conference Center in Oakbrook Terrace.
“I am deeply honored that the Illinois State Crime Commission has recognized the important work my office has performed on behalf of children over the years,” Glasgow said. “My prosecutors, legal secretaries, victim advocates and supporting administrators work tirelessly to protect these vulnerable victims and prosecute the predators who would do them harm.”
Glasgow has launched many creative programs to serve children over his long and distinguished career. His most recent initiative is the creation of the Will County State’s Attorney’s High Technology Crimes Unit, which has a primary focus on investigating and prosecuting crimes against children. The specialized unit, which he formed in 2012, tracks down predators who use the Internet to produce, distribute and download child pornography. The unit has investigated and arrested 80 individuals who were in possession of child pornography or who were actually sexually abusing a child.
The State’s Attorney also is collaborating with community leaders in some of Will County’s most troubled neighborhoods to create an afterschool program where children can receive homework assistance and mentoring in the sanctuary of a local community center.
Glasgow and Bettye Gavin, executive director of the Forest Park Community Center in Joliet, are working together to develop the program, which will include academic mentors from the State’s Attorney’s staff. Recently, Glasgow, former Joliet Police Chief Mike Trafton and Terry D’Arcy, the president of D’Arcy Motors in Joliet, joined forces to fund the purchase of two vans to shuttle youngsters to the Center for the program.
In addition, the State’s Attorney established the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center in 1995 to stop child sexual predators in their tracks. The Center, which has improved the way allegations of child sexual abuse are investigated, has put literally hundreds of predators behind bars over the past two decades. He recently created the Paws 4 Kids pet therapy program to comfort sexually abused children who visit the Children’s Advocacy Center to provide statements that are used to convict predators.
Jerry Elsner, the Illinois State Crime Commission’s Executive Director, described State’s Attorney Glasgow as one of the most innovative State’s Attorney’s in Illinois. “Jim Glasgow has launched many creative programs to improve the way crimes are investigated and prosecuted,” Elsner said. “As a prosecutor and as a community leader, he is on the cutting edge when it comes to creating programs that enhance the safety of all citizens.”
Other initiatives launched by State’s Attorney Glasgow include:
- Veterans – The establishment of a Will County Veterans Court to provide critical treatment, counseling and assistance to local veterans who have struggled with mental health and substance abuse disorders since returning home from military operations. He also purchased an ADA-accessible shuttle bus for the Veterans Assistance Commission of Will County to transport local veterans to receive necessary medical services. He bought the bus using money forfeited to the state by criminals.
- Domestic Violence – The passage of tough new domestic violence laws that significantly increase penalties for repeat offenders as well as for abusers who torture their victims. He also pioneered Will County’s first Specialized Domestic Violence Court, which mandated abuser counseling to break the destructive cycle of violence.
- Senior Citizens – The formation of a Financial Crimes Prosecution Unit to investigate and prosecute financial predators who target the elderly.
- Drug Court – The opening of the Miller Taylor House and the Julie Anne House for recovering addicts. Both homes are operated by the Will County Drug Court.
- Gang Awareness – The production of Gang Awareness and Prevention books to educate the public about gang activity in their schools and communities. He also formed Will County’s first Gang Prosecution Unit in the early 1990s and helped organize gang sweeps that dramatically reduced gang shootings in the early 1990s.
- Animal Abuse – The drafting of an Animal Torture Statute that created the first felony charge in Illinois for the abuse of animals and a mandatory psychiatric evaluation upon conviction to identify potential mass murderers.
- Crime Prevention –The establishment of a Crime Prevention Division that educates citizens about gang violence, financial scams, elder abuse, Internet safety and drug abuse prevention.
State’s Attorney Glasgow received his Juris Doctor from Northern Illinois Law School. He and his wife, Gina, are the proud parents of five children and the owners of two dogs. He is serving his fifth term as Will County’s elected State’s Attorney.
To obtain tickets or to receive more information about the Illinois State Crime Commission’s 19th Annual Awards Dinner, call (847) 224-7200.