Event | Event | March 26, 2024

State’s Attorney Bob Berlin: a 2024 Champion for Kids

DuPage County, Illinois prosecutor honored for years of service to children & public safety

An engraved, glass plaque lauding his support for “solutions that steer kids away from crime and toward successful lives” is just one sign of DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin’s dedication to the work of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids. More importantly are the policy wins he has helped the organization to notch during his 13 years of membership.

These include hundreds of millions of dollars in resources for early childhood, afterschool, and juvenile-justice programs — all marks of the assistance Berlin has provided in helping Illinois policymakers to see and embrace the crime-prevention significance of proven investments in children’s well-being.

His contributions to these efforts have landed Berlin among a half-dozen Fight Crime: Invest in Kids members, nationwide, who have been named recipients of the organization’s 2024 Champion for Kids awards. Fight Crime staff and several of his law enforcement colleagues presented Berlin with the honor during the group’s Day at the Capitol event in Springfield on March 21.

“State’s Attorney Berlin has long shown a deep respect for the research supporting our work: years of studies connecting the dots between public safety and smart investments in children’s development,” said Sean Noble, Illinois State Director for Fight Crime. “As a result of his dedication and advocacy, many thousands of kids are benefiting statewide from better opportunities for learning and growth.”

“I am proud to be affiliated with such a fine organization that not only recognizes, but embraces, the significance and viability of crime prevention through proven investments in children’s well-being,“ Berlin said. "Our mutual commitment to our children is vital to not only our communities, but also the quality of life enjoyed by our residents through reduced crime and increased public safety. I thank Fight Crime Invest in Kids for this recognition, and I look forward to continuing working with them to lead our children on a path to lifelong success and away from the criminal justice system.”

Berlin began his law enforcement career at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in 1987, moving to the Kane County prosecutor’s office in 2001 and to DuPage three years after that. He was appointed to his current position in late 2010 and has been elected to it three times since.

Several years after joining Fight Crime’s membership in May 2011, Berlin was appointed to its Illinois Executive Committee. Over the years, his many contributions to the organization have included:

● Hosting events for new DuPage-area legislators in 2015, 2019, and again last year (as well as joining countless other meetings with policymakers),

● Authoring several newspaper opinion pieces — most recently, a Daily Herald op-ed supporting the proposed consolidation of core birth-to-5 services under a single, new state agency, and

● Anchoring a 2022 news event calling for the dedication of important new resources to birth-to-3 services shown to help counter the opioid crisis: some of the funding from the state’s settlement of lawsuits against opioid makers and distributors, lawsuits that Berlin himself helped file and pursue.

Berlin is no newcomer to public honors, either. In 2011, the Education Center gave Berlin its “Making a Difference” award for his support of projects helping children to become productive citizens. Three years later, the Illinois State Crime Commission named him State’s Attorney of the Year.

Pictured above at the Illinois statehouse are Berlin with his Champion for Kids award and two fellow Fight Crime members: Kendall County State’s Attorney Eric Weis, who co-chairs the group’s Illinois Executive Committee, and Elwood Police Chief Fred Hayes, a 20-year Fight Crime: Invest in Kids member and “dean” of the organization’s Day at the Capitol delegation.

Berlin joins a number of previous Champion for Kids honorees from Illinois, such as Hazel Crest Police Chief Mitchell Davis who received the award in 2021; he is another Executive Committee co-chair. Before that, Illinois award recipients included former Kane County State’s Attorney Joseph McMahon, former Lake County State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim, and former Buffalo Grove Police Chief Steve Casstevens.

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