We are thrilled by the recent amendment to Scott's Law, also known as the 'Move Over' Law in Illinois. On January 1, 2017, the law expanded to include stranded and disabled vehicles with flashing hazard lights. This includes commercial trucks and cars. As with the emergency, maintainence and tow vehicles already covered by the law, you now must move over, if possible, and slow down for any stranded vehicle with flashing hazards. We feel this is an excellent change, as we have previously suggested to driver's education classes that they move over for all vehicles on the shoulder with flashing lights, regardless of who is covered by the law. Several students from each class express that they know what it feels like to be broken down on the should of a highway, with cars and trucks speeding by.
Hello everyone, my name is Brennan, and I am a proud police officer's son. My father has been the Chief of Police for sixteen years and has been in law enforcement for a total of twenty-five years. I am related to two Illinois State Troopers, have a fraternity brother whom is a patrolman, and a fraternity brother who is a Virgina State Trooper. So I guess you can say I have a lot of personal connections to law enforcement. However, there are many Troopers, Officers, and Deputies I have met throughout my twenty-one years of life who are more than just badge they are my family.
I currently attend Southern Illinois University where I will be obtaining my B/S in speech pathology and hopefully pursuing a career with the Illinois State Police as an Illinois State Trooper. Growing up around law enforcement, I knew I wanted to be an Illinois State Trooper more than anything.
Growing up, I knew my dad's and my family members' profession was very dangerous. I knew there was always that risk that my loved one behind that badge would not return home at the end of their shift. I can always remember when I lived at home giving my dad a hug before he left to work because I did not know if he would return home. Would a nightmare become a reality? It was something that crossed my mind many times. I pray everyday for my loved ones that put on their badge and uniform to keep us safe, I pray that they return safely at the end of the night.
I had never experienced the death of a police officer until November of 2012. I was attending SIUe when I saw breaking news all over the St. Louis area that an Illinois State Trooper had been struck by a semi and killed. My heart sank... My heart broke for his family and fellow troopers. I found out from my uncle that Trooper Deatherage's Services were being held in Highland, IL and decided to attend his funeral services to pay my respects. After, all the years I have been to the Illinois Police Memorial, nothing prepared me for the sadness and emotion I was about to face. After walking up to the casket and paying my respects, my heart sank.. It killed me seeing Kyle's family so sad. The night of his visitation was when it really hit me. It made me think, this could have been my dad, my uncle, my cousin, or one of the many officers that I consider family. This was a horrible accident that could have happened to anyone and should not have happened. Then came the funeral...The bagpipes, the final call, the look sadness on so many of my family and friends face. There were no words to explain the emotion that I faced that day.
In September of 2013, I found out one of the pledges for my fraternity, Kappa Sigma, was Sgt. Rodney Millers son. I could not believe I had a fellow LE family member that was soon going to become my fraternity brother. The night I realized Daley, was Rodney Miller's son, I begin to think of some way our fraternity could give back to his dad and Trooper Deatherage. After talking to many friends who are troopers and our EC board, we planned out the first ever Heroes Forever Philanthropy Event. Our chapter purchased an iPad, sold raffle tickets, and raised a total of $5,000 in three months. The money we raised was divided between the The Trooper Deatherage Memorial and The Rodney Miller Triathlon. During the Heroes Forever Philanthropy Event, I became very close friends with the Deatherage Family and many of Kyle's fellow troopers. I even did a ride along with one Kyle's best friends, Dan. Since November 2013, I am proud call to the Deatherage Family close friends of mine and consider them to be family. This past fall, we conducted the second annual Heroes Forever Philanthropy and raised $4,600 for the two organizations.
Last month, I came in contact with Matt Sauter, Trooper James Sauters little brother. It ended up, Matt went to school where I was from and we were able to hang out. So two weekends ago we got to hang out and I got to hear some pretty awesome stories about his brother. Once again, it made me realize that this trooper (James Sauter) was taken way too soon by something that could have been prevented. I seen the what not moving over done to Matt. It took his best friend, his role model, his brother.
So in the last two years, I have became friends with the family of Kyle Deatherage and friends with James Sauter's little brother. So after realizing how much a careless person actions can affect someone's life, I knew it was time that I got involved with #MoveOverIllinois. I want to make sure new drivers as well current drivers are informed on Scott's Law and just how dangerous it is for our loved ones to be out keeping our roads safe. I want to make sure my dad and the rest of my LE family come home every night at the end of their shift. I look forward to working to promote #MoveOver in the Southern Illinois Area. I appreciate the support you offer and your continued support. Also, always remember "Slow Down and Move Over!"
First off, I would like to say welcome to Move Over Illinois. I thought I would take this opportunity to tell you my story and why I started this campaign. I will try to keep it short, but I want to give you all a glimpse beyond the computer screen at the person behind it. I hope to introduce you to the other members of this organization as well, given they are comfortable exposing their stories to the world. So, without further ado...
My name is Kate, and I am a proud LEOW (law enforcement officer's wife). My husband has been an Illinois State Trooper for 4 years now, graduating from the academy just two months before our wedding. He is living the dream, doing what he loves every day. I, however, live the life behind the badge, trying not to spend every night worrying about his safety as I sleep alone. I am not seeking sympathy, as I knew this was part of the deal when he chose this profession. I chose to marry into this lifestyle, but it honestly is not quite what I had expected. See, when he was hired on by the State Police, I was thankful. Thankful that he would be on the tollway and not responding to domestic disturbance calls. I thought he was safer. The last death in the Illinois State Police was 2007 so I assured myself that he had a relatively safe job.
When a fellow trooper was killed on the roadways in November of 2012, I began to question my husband's safety. Then again, in March 2013 we got word of another trooper getting killed on the roadways, all of 15 miles from my husband's patrol. My husband had met this trooper before and the wake and funeral were all of a mile from our home. Needless to say, this one really hit close to home. At this point, some of the fellow troopers' wives had banded together to create a support group, as we, as a large family, had been through some terrible tragedies. I was thankful for this group but also realized for the first time, just how dangerous my husband's job really was and that I needed support. This is not a lifestyle I can do alone.
Fast forward almost a year, and many close calls on the road, when drivers failed to give my husband and his fellow troopers room to work. In January of 2014, another State Trooper was hit, but in this case he survived. A tollway worker was killed as a result of this crash as well. It has not been an easy road to recovery for the trooper by any means, and I personally feel that it is a miracle that he is with us today. Six months later, my husband came home and told me about his recent close call. The details of what happened festered inside me. I felt anger and frustration. Something needed to be done because this ignorance of the law is putting these troopers, and all others who work on the roads, in great danger. July 2014 I started a small Facebook page in hopes that some fellow troopers and their families, along with my friends and family would like the page. I had expected maybe 40 likes. It was initially just a place to blow off my frustration and hopefully inform even just one person of the Move Over Law. What happened next was something that I had not been prepared for. Like after like came in, along with comments and shares on my posts. When the page hit 500 likes I had realized that this would become something bigger than I had ever imagined. There truly was a need for this. Requests for products started to come in, wristbands, t-shirts and decals. Given that I was not an organization, nor did I have any use for proceeds, I decided to donate all proceeds from these sales to the Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation, as they are raising funds to build a much needed memorial. Having since gotten to know the two wives of the fallen State Troopers that were recently killed, I saw great importance in this memorial.
Soon after establishing the Facebook page, another State Trooper was struck by a vehicle on the tollway. He was lucky enough to survive, but also has a long road to recovery ahead of him. I had felt like a failure, that I didn't do my job to keep these troopers safe. I knew this campaign needed to grow. A couple of fellow troopers's wives stepped up, showing deep interest in my cause. We have hopes of creating public service announcements and educational programs, which means turning this Facebook driven campaign into a non-profit. We are currently in the process of applying for NFP status. We have big goals for our future but that cannot be done without your support. Every like, comment and share on Facebook means the post is reaching more and more people. A single post reached over 13,000 people thanks to your help! Every sale means more money raised for the memorial. Your support in future sales campaigns will help us to raise the money needed to apply for NFP. I appreciate each and every one of you and your continued support. This campaign is where it is because of all of you. Thank you!