New Illinois lottery scratch-off ticket to help families of wounded and fallen police officers

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (Illinois News Network) — The newest Illinois Lottery scratch-off game will help support programs and initiatives for the families of fallen or injured police officers.

“Our police officers stand in the face of danger every day to keep us safe. We are proud to stand with them and support their families when they are faced with a devastating loss,” Gov. Bruce Rauner said in a statement. “This new ticket will help fund scholarships for their children and honor their bravery at memorial parks across the state.”

House Bill 5513, which Rauner signed into law last month, will allow proceeds from the new scratch-off game to be divided equally between the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation Fund, Police Memorial Committee Fund and the Illinois State Police Memorial Fund.

“What we do at the foundation is we provide for education for the families of the fallen officers, or the catastrophically injured,” he said. “We have officers that are completely bedridden, and we are taking care of some of their children as they move through grammar school, high school, college and even graduate school.”

The funds will also help maintain the Gold Star Families Memorial and Park.

“It’s about five acres, and officers’ families can come and reflect on the lives of the fallen officers,” Gross said. “Five hundred eighty-two names are on the walls of men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty for the citizens of Chicago.”

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, sponsored the bill, and proceeds from the police memorial instant ticket will go to the Criminal Justice Information Projects Fund, which will distribute the money equally among the three funds.

Another initiative the fund will help support is the “Get Behind the Vest” campaign, Gross said.

“We vow to make sure when an officer hits the streets, they go out in a vest that has not expired, that is not worn down, and will be effective in stopping a bullet and keeping our officers safe,” he said.