Riverside police chief leads child advocacy group

Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel has been named a co-chair of a crime fighters’ child advocacy group.

Tom Weitzel, police chief of Riverside, has been named a co-chair for Fight Crime, Invest in Kids Illinois.

The state office of the national, nonprofit, bipartisan anti-crime organization has more than 300 members. Nationally, the organization has more than 5,000 police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors, leaders of law enforcement and victims of crime as members.

Tim Carpenter, executive director of Invest in Kids Illinois, cited Weitzel’s “commitment and leadership” in the group as reasons for his appointment as a co-chair.

Weitzel takes over on the board for Granite City Police Chief Rich Miller who recently retired.

“I am honored to be asked by Executive Director Carpenter to serve,” Weitzel said. “I have been affiliated with Fight Crime, Invest in Kids for over 10 years and have actively lobbied in Springfield on behalf of child advocacy issues at the local, state and national levels.

“I have long been a proponent that our tax dollars allocated for child care should not be swept, taken or commandeered by any other state agency. I have also testified in Springfield on many occasions on bipartisan legislation that would benefit programs like early childhood education, Redeploy Illinois, home visiting and other evidence-based child welfare programs for Illinois.”

Weitzel’s appointment as co-chair is immediate and his term runs for two years.

Other co-chairs of the group are Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, Union County State’s Attorney Tyler Edmonds and Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim.