Local legislator pushing for bill to protect DCFS workers

SPRINGFIELD-- With new administration sworn in in the Illinois state capitol comes new hope for a Dixon man who is fighting to keep DCFS workers safe after his wife, Pam Knight, was killed on the job. Last year a bill failed that would make the penalty harsher for crimes against DCFS workers, but one local lawmaker isn't taking no for an answer.

59-year-old Pam Knight from Dixon was beaten to death on the job while checking on the welfare of a two-year-old.

It's been more than a year since the deadly attack, and Pam's husband, Don, is making it his mission to protect workers like Pam trying to keep kids safe.

"Please, I'm asking the public, I'm asking the house to pass this bill. We need it, and we need it for Pam," said Don back in April when he asked lawmakers face to face why they turned down a bill calling for harsher penalties for people who hurt DCFS workers on the job.

The bill would enhance the penalty for injuring a DCFS worker to 4 to 15 years, much like a firefighter and police officer, boosting the charge from a battery to a felony aggravated battery. The bill was co-sponsored by State Representative Tony McCombie, and it died without discussion.

"It really is a no-brainer because every other agency has this law in place," says McCombie.

With the new administration sworn in on January 14, 2019, Representative McCombie is reintroducing the bill and hopes this time around, it will become a law.

"I've learned a little more this year, and I'm going to come at it at a different direction. And I've already reached out to members of the judicial committee to not make it so politicized," says McCombie.

She's working to protect the protectors of Illinois kids while also getting justice for Pam Knight.

The man charged with the attack, Andrew Sucher, faces up to life in prison if convicted of murder. He will appear in court next month.

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