Sen. Ram VillivalamCHICAGO – State Senator Ram Villivalam is proud to support the Village of Skokie’s Early Intervention in Hate Crimes program in collaboration with law enforcement, schools, community social services and organizations.

“Skokie is a vastly diverse community and with the growing threat of hate crimes and violence, I am proud to see the Village take steps to foster awareness within community organizations,” said Villivalam (D-Chicago). “Taking steps to work with different community organizations will help create a unified front against hate crimes in Skokie. It brings me hope to see collaboration like this within my community.”

Over the last 18 months, the Village of Skokie worked with Corporation Counsel Michael M. Lorge and Trustees Khem Khoeun and Kieth Robinson to conduct research with experts throughout the United States.  The Village presented a program that will use local data collected on bias and hate incidents to anticipate and intervene on potential hate crimes.

The Village of Skokie also outlined the steps it will take to enact this program going forward, beginning with the recognition and acknowledgement that hate crimes exist, are underreported, are increasing in frequency and are occurring against every segment of protected groups in Skokie.

With the rising rate of hate crimes around the United States, the Village of Skokie is taking action within the community to address and prevent hate crimes with this program. The Skokie Police Department began tracking all bias- or hate-related incidents on Jan. 1, 2022, in anticipation of this program.

The goal of the intervention program is to collect data and information about incidents and occurrences that are reported formally as hate crimes, and any incident reported that involves an element of bias or hate against a protected class. The collection of this data will allow the Village to identify and assess possible trends and anticipate where in Skokie people might be prone to such behavior.

The Village is confident that the diversity within the community, coupled with the expressed common values of equity, respect and celebration of divergent cultures strengthens the social fabric that weaves the community together.

“This initiative takes tangible steps toward preventing hate crimes in Skokie and I am proud to see my community come together to address bias and hate toward our residents,” said Villivalam. “I look forward to seeing the project progress and working with community organizations to prevent any more horrific hate crimes from happening to our residents.”

The Village plans to provide opportunities to address situations in which hate interactions exist and to blunt or stop hate crimes that could grow from it.