Durbin Questions Witnesses In Judiciary Committee Hearing On Carjacking

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, questioned Cook County Sherriff Thomas Dart and President and CEO of the National Insurance Crime Bureau David J. Glawe about striking the balance between consumer privacy and providing law enforcement with prompt location tracking information of carjacked vehicles at today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing entitled “Federal Support for Preventing and Responding to Carjackings.” Durbin asked what privacy considerations law enforcement takes when navigating a situation in which a car has been carjacked and law enforcement is trying to quickly track it.


“The victims are there with us, and they’ve given consent. They want this done... If there are bad actors who are using this for the wrong purpose…you can charge those people for that,” Sherriff Dart said. “When it’s tracked, we’re there, and we’re on top of it. When it’s not tracked, it’s completely random, and we occasionally will get lucky. This privacy issue, it’s real, but it absolutely cannot be stopping this…We need this right now. This could be the game changer.”


John Bozzella, President and CEO of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, added, “We’re looking to work with law enforcement to find a way to get this balance right. We think we’re making progress in that regard. We think that we can do this in a way that balances consumer privacy with the consumer’s need to be protected from carjacking.”


Durbin also asked Mr. Glawe to comment on concerns that carjackings are motivated by resale value of car parts or a secondary market that offers a financial benefit to perpetrators.


“Has there been something in the world of automobiles that has created a secondary market?” Durbin asked. 


Glawe responded, “There’s a high demand and a low supply... There is an extensive organized crime, criminal conspiracy throughout the United States and worldwide on the supply chain of stolen vehicles…There’s a lot of profit to be made right now for the crime.” 


Durbin concluded the hearing by asking Vaughn Bryant, Executive Director of Metropolitan Peace Initiatives, a division of Metropolitan Family Services, about how his organization works to coordinate between law enforcement and community violence intervention programs.


“We have vastly improved our relationship with law enforcement…The people in management do coordinate with law enforcement on a biweekly basis. We coordinate with city officials, county officials, state officials… At our Metropolitan Peace Academy, we train the outreach workers in a 144 hour curriculum and that has also brought more credibility to the field of violence prevention, and it’s allowed for greater trust with law enforcement. They actually contribute to our curriculum,” said Mr. Bryant. “We created the Community Training Academy, where it’s a community-led training. Citizens in a particular police district can host officers for a training so that officers can see that community from that community’s lens…We agree that we want more law enforcement, but we want better, fairer, more engaged law enforcement…We have to rebuild that trust.”


Video of Durbin’s questions in Committee is available here.


Audio of Durbin’s questions in Committee is available here.


Footage of Durbin’s questions in Committee is available here for TV Stations.