Sweeping Law Enforcement Reform Act Signed by Governor

Posted on in Criminal Law

police, law enforcement, new law, Illinois Criminal Defense LawyerThe Governor of Illinois has signed the Police and Community Improvement Act into law. The act contains 200 different bills which address rules and procedures for law enforcement regarding bias-free policing, body cameras, choke holds, and a multitude of other police reforms. The major piece of legislation came about as a result of the nationwide movement for police reforms over several highly publicized law enforcement-involved deaths of private citizens.

According to the new law, chokeholds are prohibited, except in circumstances where deadly force is deemed to be necessary. Per Article 7 of the Illinois Criminal Code, deadly force is only allowed when a member of law enforcement needs to protect and defend themselves, another person, or property. The law also calls for specific training for police officers to ensure they understand different cultures and can recognized any bias that may exist.

One of the hottest issues under the new law surrounds the requirement of police body cameras. Although the new law is not requiring that all police officers use the cameras, it does set strict guidelines for those that do.

Law enforcement officers will be required to keep their cameras on at all times while conducting police activities. They will only be allowed to turn the cameras off if they are meeting with a confidential informant or if they are interviewing a witness or victim who requests that the camera not be turned on during the interview.

In order to cover the cost of body cameras and training for police, the law calls for an additional $5.00 fee be added to all traffic and criminal offenses which result in convictions or guilty pleas. The additional funds will be handled by Law Enforcement Training Standards Board, who will award the funds under a grant program similar to the funds which are awarded for dashboard cameras.

The Act also calls for the creation of a database which will contain the names of all law enforcement personnel that have been dismissed or resigned due to misconduct issues.

If you have been arrested and charged with a criminal offense in Illinois, contact an experienced Arlington Heights defense attorney. Call Attorney Scott F. Anderson at 847-253-3400 to schedule a free initial consultation.