Rep. Hamilton Files Legislation to Permit DCFS Workers to Carry Mace to Protect Themselves While on the Job to Investigate and Protect Children

Rep. Sandy Hamilton (99th District) talks about legislation to permit DCFS workers to carry pepper spray or mace for protection while on the job investigating child abuse cases.

State Representative Sandy Hamilton (R-Springfield) filed legislation this week to permit child protective investigators to carry and use personal protection spray devices such as mace, pepper mace and pepper gas for self-defense. House Bill 5688 is a companion bill to a bill filed by State Senator Steve McClure in the Illinois Senate (SB 4165).

“It is sad that we have to make a law for our state workers to be able to protect themselves,” said Rep. Sandy Hamilton, who represents the area of Sangamon County where the attack and murder took place. “It is the right thing to do so that those who are working to protect abused children can also have at least one tool to protect themselves in these situations.”

State Senator Steve McClure (50th District) discusses the legislation also introduced in the Senate to allow state workers to carry mace while on the job.

This change in the Illinois Children and Family Service Act will allow state workers while investigating a report of child abuse or neglect. This new ability would require the child protective investigator to go through training on the proper use of such personal protection spray devices by the Illinois State Police.

The Illinois State Police would establish a training program for child protective investigators on the proper use of personal protection spray devices for self-defense purposes. Under this new law the Department of Children and Family Services would be responsible to provide funding for the training program.

“This is something our state workers can keep on a key chain to disable an attacker long enough to get away and get help. I look forward to working with all of my colleagues on getting a quick hearing and passage of the bill so that the governor can sign it into law.”

Former DCFS employee, Gail Hopper, with 22 years of service, explains why she supports this legislation to help protect DCFS workers.

Rep. Hamilton represents the western portion of Springfield and 20 communities throughout Sangamon County. For more information and legislative updates, you may sign up at the online office at