* This thing looks like it’s rolling forward…
State lawmakers believe they’ve reached a deal on a police reform package that includes guidelines for body cameras.
Legislators said at the beginning of the year that police reform was going to be a key issue this session. Senate Bill 1304 aims to address several areas besides body cameras, including officer-related homicide investigations and additional training. It also includes $6 million in funding for crime labs at the request of House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago. […]
The package contains provisions for police body cameras but does not mandate them. The bill would change the current eavesdropping laws requiring two-party consent to allow officers to record without permission.
Police who decide to wear the cameras could only turn them off when talking with a witness or victim or during personal and strategic conversations. All interactions with the public would have to be recorded.
The package, negotiated by state Rep. Elgie Sims, D-Chicago, calls for adding a $5 fee to traffic tickets, with a portion going to pay for cameras.
It also sets out rules for how officer-involved incidents are investigated, including a requirement that officers from outside of a department are called in to investigate.
“What we wanted are objective eyes on an incident,” Sims said.
The proposal also outlines how reports are to be made public in order to ensure there is no secrecy.
* And no Republican opposition means there’s no current Rauner brick. Good news, for a change…
The Illinois House on Wednesday overwhelming pushed through a sweeping measure aimed at curbing heroin use and preventing overdose deaths by expanding specialized drug courts that focus on treatment.
The measure also would require police departments and fire houses to stock opioid antidotes that could be used to counteract heroin overdoses. In addition, the state’s Medicaid health care program for the poor would have to cover the cost of drug treatment programs. […]
The House approved the measure 114-0, though Republicans expressed concern about the possible costs of the bill, which originally were estimated to be as high as $25 million a year. […]
The measure also attempts to strengthen the state Department of Human Services’ prescription monitoring program to help doctors and pharmacies detect “doctor shoppers,” a practice in which drug addicts obtain various prescriptions from several doctors. It also establishes drug education programs for schools and reforms drug court programs to keep users out of jail and in rehabilitation programs.
Despite all the other implosions, some serious progress is truly being made on crime issues this year.