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Rauner signs body cam bill

Thursday, Aug 13, 2015 - Posted by Rich Miller

By Barton Lorimor Email | @bartonlorimor

* From a press release…

Governor Bruce Rauner signed SB 1304 today to create the Police and Community Improvement Act.

“Today we are taking steps to strengthen the relationship between our law enforcement officers and the public they protect with the Police and Community Improvement Act,” Governor Rauner said. “As a society, we must ensure the safety of both the public and law enforcement. SB 1304 establishes new and important guidelines and training for police departments and their officers, while protecting the public by prohibiting officers from using excessive force. I thank the legislators who sponsored this bill. It will have a lasting and positive impact on the people of Illinois.”

Additional Background: Illinois is the first state in the country to pass comprehensive legislation that include procedures for police departments that utilize body cameras; establish reporting requirements for officers who make stops or arrests; crisis intervention and racial sensitivity training; and prohibits excessive force like choke holds.

A detailed description courtesy of Sen. Raoul’s office…

Senate Bill 1304 implements numerous recommendations of the federal task force by

· - Requiring independent investigations of all officer-involved deaths

· - Improving mandatory officer training in areas such as the proper use of force, cultural competency, recognizing implicit bias, interacting with persons with disabilities and assisting victims of sexual assault

· - Creating a statewide database of officers who have been dismissed due to misconduct or resigned during misconduct investigations

· - Improving data collection and reporting of officer-involved and arrest-related deaths and other serious incidents

· - Establishing a Commission on Police Professionalism to make further recommendations on the training and licensing of law enforcement officers

The legislation also prohibits the use of choke holds by police and expands the Traffic Stop Statistical Study, which provides insights into racial disparities in vehicular stops and searches, to include pedestrians whom officers “stop and frisk” or temporarily detain for questioning. Finally, it codifies rules concerning the appointment of special prosecutors.

The new law does not require law enforcement agencies to deploy officer-worn body cameras, but if they choose to do so, they must adhere to the following standards:

· - The cameras must be turned on at all times when an officer is responding to a call for service or engaged in law enforcement activities.

· - The cameras can be turned off at the request of a crime victim or witness, or when an officer is talking with a confidential informant.

· - Recordings are exempt from FOIA with some exceptions:

· Recordings can be “flagged” if they have evidentiary value in relation to a use of force incident, the discharge of a weapon or a death.

· “Flagged” recordings may be disclosed in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act; however, in certain sensitive situations, such as a recording of a sexual assault, victim consent is required prior to disclosure.

· - Recordings must be retained for 90 days or, if “flagged,” for two years or until final disposition of the case in which the recording is being used as evidence.

As for the bill’s passage…

“Police unions in this state stepped up to the plate and really led in a lot of the discussions involving the elements that were involved in this bill,” said Sean Smoot, Illinois Police Benevolent and Protective Association legal counsel and who also served on the White House task force on community policing. “I think that says a lot about our state and about our police officers and the people they put into position of leadership.”


  1. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 13, 15 @ 12:00 pm:

    Rauner has done more to revamp criminal justice in one year than Blago and Quinn did in one decade. Same major players in the ilga, different governors. Well done.

  2. - Lobo Y Olla - Thursday, Aug 13, 15 @ 12:33 pm:

    ###Rauner has done more to revamp criminal justice in one year than Blago and Quinn did in one decade. Same major players in the ilga, different governors. Well done###

    Oh, please. The Gov’s Office had very little to do with this bill, other than sign it. This was all done by the members of the GA and the stakeholders. You make it sound like he cut the Gordian Knot.

  3. - Slippin' Jimmy - Thursday, Aug 13, 15 @ 12:36 pm:

    Has to be a step forward for us all….

  4. - Almost the Weekend - Thursday, Aug 13, 15 @ 12:40 pm:

    Credit to Rauner for sticking to fiscal issues. No matter how much people disagree with his fiscal policy on this website it looks like he will leave a positive legacy in Illinois on criminal issues.

  5. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Aug 13, 15 @ 1:37 pm:

    Lobo - sorry, but my educated guess is that a lot of this was done with assurances from Governor Rauner and his staff that he would actually sign the legislation and ensure the programs are implemented without a hitch. Otherwise, all of the efforts of players like Senator Raoul and Reps Sims, Booth and Anthony would have been for show. Instead their efforts are now law and, based on the language in the release, Governor Rauner backs their efforts.

  6. - Common sense Steve - Thursday, Aug 13, 15 @ 1:57 pm:

    The cameras may be mandated by federal law in 2017. So they are just going along with the federal mandate without actually mandating them

  7. - Jack Stephens - Thursday, Aug 13, 15 @ 2:29 pm:


    Bruce has done nothing. Empty the prisons of all the pot smokers and then he will have done something. Till then we are paying $20,000.00 plus a year to baby sit them.

    Oh…the prison workers are Union workers. Some make $70,000.00 a year or more to slap bologna sandwiches together with Free Conservative Republican Pensions and Healthcare!

  8. - A guy - Thursday, Aug 13, 15 @ 3:47 pm:


  9. - Sir Reel - Thursday, Aug 13, 15 @ 3:51 pm:

    I understand this will be paid for by a $5 increase in traffic ticket and perhaps other fees. I wonder if enough funding will be generated to pay for the actual costs.

  10. - charles in charge - Thursday, Aug 13, 15 @ 4:33 pm:

    ==my educated guess is that a lot of this was done with assurances from Governor Rauner and his staff that he would actually sign the legislation and ensure the programs are implemented without a hitch.==

    Your guess, then, is not very educated. Rauner’s administration had exactly zero involvement in the negotiation of this bill. Vetoing a bipartisan policing reform bill that law enforcement is actually prepared to accept really wasn’t ever a realistic option for the Governor in the current environment.

    ==Rauner has done more to revamp criminal justice in one year than Blago and Quinn did in one decade.==

    There are real reasons to be optimistic that Gov. Rauner will follow through on the very positive things he has said about criminal justice reform, but so far he has not taken much real action except to sign good bills sent to him by the GA. Still, the GA didn’t pass many good criminal justice bills during the Blago or Quinn years, so perhaps you’re right.

    Let’s see what Rauner does with the cannabis decrim bill (HB 218) before we give him too much credit. That bill is a baby step; if he vetoes or AV’s it, it will bode very ill for the much harder reforms that will be necessary to reduce incarceration by 25%, which the Governor states is his goal.

  11. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Aug 13, 15 @ 7:54 pm:

    Kudos to all involved.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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