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On the bright side…

Thursday, May 28, 2015

* 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.

* More

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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Corporate Thug - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 11:23 am:

    Would be interested to know, were there any interests from Police, Fire, and DHS in the room on this one? Serious question due to the debate about other legislation and lobbyist not at the table.

  2. - Corporate Thug - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 11:24 am:

    excuse me “lobbyists”, not “lobbyist”

  3. - Lobo Y Olla - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 11:45 am:

    Police and states attorneys were most definitely in the room. Police were neutral. States Attorneys, all of em, supported.

  4. - A guy - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 11:56 am:


  5. - Federalist - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 12:06 pm:

    Alright, but let’s make certain that the individuals charged with the designated offense have automatic rights to see that video. Usually the police try to deny that.
    That must change.

  6. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 12:30 pm:

    “Despite all the other implosions, some serious progress is truly being made on crime issues this year”

    Some truth to this, but why is no one even talking about 18 shootings in Chicago last week end.

  7. - nona - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 12:36 pm:

    == Republicans expressed concern about the possible costs of the bill, which could be $25 million. ==

    All those years Republicans proposed enhanced prison terms for heroin offenses they didn’t concern themselves about the increased costs to DOC. Now that there’s an alternative to more prison, they express concern.

  8. - Norseman - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 12:45 pm:

    Rich, hopefully you haven’t jinxed this progress.

  9. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 12:55 pm:

    ==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.==

    Would that apply to Internal Affairs investigators coercing victims into not purusing charges against cops?

  10. - Steve Brown - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 12:59 pm:

    Many of us believe this legislation reduces the chances of repeats of incident like those that involved my brother Marty. Ironically MO officials did nothing to deal with the improper use of lethal force or the failure to properly investigate those incidents. My family and I appreciate the effort of many, many people.

  11. - charles in charge - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 1:44 pm:

    @ Federalist:

    From p.19 of the bill (House Amendment #1):

    “[U]pon request, the law enforcement agency shall
    disclose, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, the recording to the subject of the encounter captured on the recording or to the subject’s attorney, or the officer or his or her legal representative.”

  12. - Shemp - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 1:50 pm:

    Haven’t had a chance to read bill yet, but my first question is going to be in regards data retention. The cataloging and cost of maintaining the data recorded is going to be very burdensome without some changes from current policy. I wouldn’t mind them but for the ongoing cost beyond initial purchase.

  13. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 3:23 pm:

    My understanding is the Cameras are the cheapest part, storage and keeping the data (video) is very costly.

  14. - crazybleedingheart - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 3:53 pm:

    Mr. Brown,

    Condolences on your loss. I am pleased the bill is moving and hope that it provides your family some small amount of comfort.

  15. - A paramedic - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 4:54 pm:

    Do you realize that Narcan (the narcotic reversal agent) must be stored in a temperature controlled enviornment (68-79 degrees) or it becomes INEFFECTIVE. So…just how will this work in police and fire trucks in Illinois summers? Answer….it wont. Just another feel good bill that will waste taxpayer money. After a few weeks in the heat…the reversal agent will be INEFFECTIVE.

  16. - A paramedic - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 5:02 pm:

    Oh….and after a few weeks in an Illinois winter, the same result. So, twice a year, the narcotic reversal agent (Narcan) will be rendered totally INEFFECTIVE.

    But hey….why expect effectiveness?

  17. - charles in charge - Thursday, May 28, 15 @ 6:43 pm:

    hey paramedic, if you’d read the bill or listened to the debate you’d know that it doesn’t require the Narcan to be in every vehicle, or to be stored in vehicles. Rep. Lang even talked about the temperature sensitivity issue on the floor.

    It’s you who is ill-informed on this issue. Please refrain from commenting on legislation if you don’t even know what’s in it.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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* Today's heroes: Tony and Lisa Yuscius
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* 6.6 million new jobless claims
* Open thread
* *** UPDATED x1 - 50 at Shapiro, 29 at Ludeman *** Several Murray Developmental Center residents, 1 staff test positive
* Yesterday's stories

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