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Proposed ‘Armed Security Protection Act’ would mandate security guards in Chicago municipalities with populations over 2 million


The Armed Security Protection Act is a proposed state mandate being considered in Illinois, which would apply to municipalities of more than 2 million, essentially limiting its effect to Chicago only. If passed, the bill (HB1231) would require banks, pawn shops, grocery stores, and gas stations in municipalities with a population over 2 million to independently employ security guards to combat shoplifters and other criminals.

The bill would take effect on July 1, 2024, and the guard must be on the premises during business hours.

There are around 200 banks and over 260 grocery stores in Chicago, but over 1,800 gas stations would also be required to hire a security guard. The average pay for security guards in Illinois is between $16-17 per hour, which could result in over $100,000 in additional annual operating costs for 24-hour locations.

The bill’s introduction follows Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s disappointment with Chicago retailers relying on the police instead of private guards for public safety. The bill is sponsored by State Rep. Thaddeus Jones (D-Calumet City), who is also serving as Calumet City Mayor and is under federal investigation.

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