DuPage’s Robert Berlin, Rep. Terri Bryant named Public Officials of the Year by Illinois Chiefs 

March 17, 2020

A prominent state’s attorney and a southern Illinois state representative have been named Public Officials of the Year by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police. They are: 

  • State Representative Terri Bryant, R-Mt. Vernon
  • DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin 

“A lot of legislation has a big impact on law enforcement in Illinois, and we are grateful to our partners in public safety assisting us in supporting policy changes that make sense for our communities and in preventing poorly written pieces of legislation from becoming law,” said Chief Marc Maton of Lemont, who chairs ILACP’s Legislative Committee. 

Berlin was the President of the Illinois State’s Attorneys Association during 2019.  In that role he spearheaded efforts to push for additional penalties for financial exploitation of elderly victims and sex offenses against students.  He personally led the efforts to oppose the elimination of the felony murder rule and the elimination of bail for violent crimes. He has been the state’s attorney since 2010 and is active in the DuPage Chiefs of Police Association. 

“When he speaks, people listen,” Ed Wojcicki, ILACP executive director, said of Berlin. “His is an important voice when he goes to Springfield to testify on critical legislation. We in law enforcement are so grateful for Mr. Berlin’s leadership in Illinois’ criminal justice system.” 

Added Downers Grove Police Chief Shannon Gillette: “Bob [Berlin] is engaged and accessible to law enforcement at all levels to enhance communication, cooperation, and collaboration. He is a staunch and tireless advocate for victims’ rights.” 

Rep. Bryant is the Republican minority spokesperson on the House Judiciary-Criminal Committee, one of the most important committees to ILACP members. As the Illinois Chiefs followed more than 500 bills in 2019 and already have positions on more than 200 bills this year, Rep. Bryant frequently speaks up and asks questions that law enforcement leaders want to be asked. Her perspectives are in alignment with common sense positions that protect the rights of victims, innocent citizens, and Illinois communities. She was first elected to the Illinois House in 2014 after having a career with the Illinois Department of Corrections. 

After being recommended by ILACP members, Berlin and Bryant were unanimous choices of the nine-member ILACP Board of Officers as Public Officials of the Year. Berlin and Bryant were supposed to be recognized publicly on March 18 in Springfield at a reception hosted by the Illinois Chiefs and Illinois Sheriffs’ Association, but that event, like all other similar activities, has been postponed due to the coronavirus crisis. “We are very pleased with Rep. Bryant for challenging some very bad ideas that get to the General Assembly,” Wojcicki said. “She was and is a leading voice against two of the biggest issues last year and this year – the legalization of recreational marijuana last year and bail reform this year. She recognizes that attaching the word ‘reform’ to something does not necessarily mean it is good public policy. It is not easy to be in the minority, and she handles her role thoughtfully. That’s leadership.” 

Berlin will be honored Tuesday, March 17, in Oak Brook by a group of police chiefs, and Bryant will be recognized publicly at a later date, either in Springfield or in southern Illinois. 

A list of all past ILACP honorees can be found here