James Glasgow Sworn Into Record-Setting Seventh Term as Will County State’s Attorney

 December 1, 2020

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow was sworn in today for his seventh term in office by Chief Judge Daniel Kennedy, further securing Glasgow’s place in local history as Will County’s longest-serving State’s Attorney. Kennedy administered the oath of office to Glasgow in a Zoom swearing-in ceremony in light of precautions being taken during the coronavirus pandemic. Immediately afterward, also via Zoom, the Chief Judge administered the oath to the Office’s 71 assistant state’s attorneys. 

“I am honored that the people of Will County have chosen me to protect the interests of our community as their top prosecutor for more than two and a half decades,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “Together with the highly skilled and dedicated attorneys, legal secretaries, and administrators on my team, the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office maintains a felony conviction rate 15 points higher than the state average while also implementing groundbreaking programs and initiatives in terms of crime prevention and rehabilitation.”

This marks Glasgow’s fifth consecutive term. He was first elected as Will County State’s Attorney in 1992, and was re-elected in 1996. After being out of the office for one term beginning in 2000, he returned in 2004 and has served consecutive terms ever since. 

Among noteworthy cases, Glasgow successfully prosecuted Drew Peterson for the murder of his third wife in a landmark case that attracted international attention. Peterson is serving a 38-year sentence, as well as an additional consecutive 40-year sentence for soliciting the murder for hire of State’s Attorney Glasgow. He also obtained the conviction of Christopher Vaughn in the murders of his wife and three children. Vaughn was sentenced to four consecutive life terms in prison for the murders.

Glasgow established the Office’s first Gang Prosecution Unit, which was featured on Peter Jennings’ World News Tonight. The recording heard at the courthouse entrance is the result of a petition State’s Attorney Glasgow brought to the Chief Judge after a mob action involving 40 gang members. The petition requested an administrative order that banned certain specific gang behavior in the courthouse and empowered the police with the authority to arrest for indirect contempt of court.

Glasgow also pioneered Will County’s first comprehensive Domestic Violence Protocol and worked with the law enforcement community on using this protocol to investigate these crimes. He convinced the Chief Judge to establish Will County’s first specialized Domestic Violence Court, and formed a specialized Domestic Violence Prosecution Unit consisting of attorneys and advocates who provide individuals the support they need to follow through with the prosecution of their abusers.

Additionally, in 2012, Glasgow established the first High Tech Crimes Unit, which tracks down those who engage in sexual exploitation of children through photos and the internet. In 2016, Glasgow acquired Illinois’ first electronics detection canine, “Cache,” who is deployed during the execution of search warrants to locate hidden devices.

“As our State’s Attorney, I have had the extraordinary opportunity to protect our citizens in innovative ways,” Glasgow said. “Through vigorous prosecutions, innovative diversionary programs in the courtroom, and partnerships in our community, I have worked tirelessly to make the State’s Attorney’s Office a conduit for positive change throughout Will County.”

Glasgow’s community initiatives include:

Will County Children’s Advocacy Center. Glasgow established the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center 25 years ago to provide hope, healing, and justice to sexually abused children. Since its inception, the CAC has served literally thousands of children. Glasgow has expanded the CAC’s services to include the Paws 4 Kids program that provides therapy dogs to help comfort the children, the Will County Anti-Child Pornography and Sexual Exploitation Coalition, and a satellite office in eastern Will County. The CAC will be moving from its current location to a state-of-the art, 15,000 square foot facility which will provide the private space necessary for accreditation and continued growth.

Problem Solving Courts. State’s Attorney Glasgow spearhaded the creation of each of Will County’s Problem Solving Courts. He wrote and administrated the grant funding the creation of the Drug Court; established the Mental Health Court with former Will County Chief Judge Gerald Kinney; petitioned for the formation of the Will County Veterans Court; and wrote and obtained the grant for the Redeploy Illinois Court.

Residential facilities. To further help Problem Solving Court participants on the path to reentry, Glasgowestablishedthe Miller Taylor House and Julie Ann House to provide rehabilitation housing, and in 2019 opened the Connor Kelly Residence which provides longer-term transitional housing.

K9s to Local Law Enforcement.  Glasgow has provided drug-detection K9s to local law enforcement throughout Will County. Currently, seven police K9s were provided to local communities by the State’s Attorney’s Office:Simo (Crest Hill), Tucker (Park Forest), Rookie (Shorewood), Sam (Elwood), Hutch (Channahon), Roxie (Rockdale), and Mao (Wilmington). The K-9s, their training, and the transport equipment installed in the police vehicles have been paid for with drug asset money seized from criminals, at no cost to taxpayers. Glasgow also helped purchase explosive detection dog Loki for the Will County Sheriff’s Department.

League of Extraordinary Canines & Friends.  In 2019, Glasgow established The League of Extraordinary Canines & Friends to bring together the resources to address animal abuse and neglect, and the propensity of people who hurt animals to harm other individuals. Glasgow received a national award for this work earlier this year, being named one of “American’s Top Ten Animal Defenders” by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF). Glasgow authored Illinois’ 1999 statute creating the state’s first criminal felony charge for animal cruelty, and established an Animal Protection Unit of three assistant state’s attorney to work with law enforcement on prosecuting animal abuse and neglect cases.

Partnerships. Using money forfeited by criminals and in partnership with local businessman Terry D’Arcy, Glasgow has donated vehicles at no cost to taxpayers to the Veterans Assistance Commission, Boys & Girls Club of Joliet, the Spanish Community Center, and the Forest Park Community Center, along with the “Hidden in Plain Sight” vehicle and trailer to the Heroin Epidemic Relief Organization. In 2016, the State’s Attorney’s Office made a $10,000 contribution to Guardian Angel Community Services, also using forfeiture funds, to cover the cost of 24 new steel-frame beds for the Groundwork Emergency Shelter to serve domestic violence victims.

In addition to the award from ALDF, Glasgow’s honors include the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award from Senior Services of Will County, the 2017 George Sangmeister Medal of Excellence for Community Service from Childerguild & Silver Cross Hospital, the 2013 Community Advocate Award for Outstanding Leadership and Contribution in the Work against Domestic Violence from the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network, and the 2014 Award of Recognition from Will County Take Back the Night. The Illinois State Crime Commission has awarded Glasgow its prestigious State’s Attorney of the Year honor on an unprecedented four occasions over the past two decades and presented him with a Career Achievement Award in 2016. He also received the prestigious Mitchell A. Mars Prosecutorial Excellence Award from the Chicago Crime Commission in 2012 for his outstanding effort in the prosecution of Drew Peterson.

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