Our first word on the new “police reform” law in Illinois

Last week Governor Rauner signed the Police and Community Relations Improvement Act. Proponents are calling it significant, comprehensive police reform, and it will affect Illinois law enforcement big time.  Today I just want to provide a few facts. Among its major components:

  • Allows but doesn’t require police departments to use body cameras
  • Requires police to give “stop receipts” to citizens after many interactions
  • Bans the use of chokeholds
  • Increases mandatory officer training of officers in areas such as the proper use of force, cultural competency, and recognizing implicit bias
  • Requires an independent investigation of officer-involved deaths

Here is our Illinois police chiefs’ statement that we released when the bill was signed. We think some aspects of the bill might prove to be counterproductive to good community policing, but we are committed to building and rebuilding trust with citizens and communities. It’s essential that we do.

The law is 175 pages long, so it’s going to take some time to unpack it for Illinois citizens. Here is a one-page fact sheet from the Illinois Senate Democrats. Here is a little more detail that came with the announcement from the bill’s sponsors. Here is the full text of the new law, which was SB1304 and is now Public Act  099-0352.