SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) — State Senator Darren Bailey (R) hosted a press conference Wednesday with State Rep. Blaine Wilhour (R) in support of new legislation to strengthen penalties on “convicted cop killers.”

The bill, Senate Bill 3899, would reinstate the death penalty for those who commit first-degree murder against a peace officer.

According to Sen. Bailey, six officers were killed in the last eight months, five of those deaths from gunfire. The emotional senator listed each name during the press conference.

Amber Oberheim, the widow of Champaign officer Chris Oberheim, killed in the line of duty in May 2021, spoke in support of this legislation.

“The current attack on law enforcement officers is unprecedented,” she said. “We the people of the state of Illinois must not tolerate the ambushing and the slaying of our officers.”

Officers should not be punished by offenders because of the line of work they chose, she said.

“Even when you make a choice to follow a straight path, there are crooked people in our country who are given the opportunity to take it away in the blink of an eye,” Oberheim said.

Oberheim said she wants legislators in support of the police in Springfield. She said the issue should not involve politics.

“Public safety is a bipartisan issue. Not one to be argued between democrats and republicans. Because, trust me, my husband’s killer did not stop and ask him if he was a Democrat or Republican before he shot him three times. It doesn’t matter what side of the line you sit on, bullets are flying in the streets of Illinois, and they don’t differentiate between political parties.”

Amber Oberheim, widow of Champaign police officer