Illinois police reform: Local law enforcement fears consequences of House Bill 163

Local News

Policing in Illinois could change drastically if a new bill introduced in the house is passed.

Some local police departments and lawmakers say it could put officers, and the public in harms way.

These are just a few of amendments that make up House Bill 163.

The bill if passed would require departments expand police training on use of force, and prohibit chokeholds.

Body cameras would be mandated for all police departments.

Larger agencies would be required to have cameras in place January 1st, 20-22.

All agencies would need to have cameras in place by 2025.

Police departments that would not comply could face reduced funding.

Local departments say the state isn’t offering any extra funding for training or the equipment that may required of them.

State lawmakers in the lame duck session are discussing a new controversial criminal justice reform bill that was put forth by the Illinois legislative Black Caucus.

“As the bill sits now it will fundamentally change the way law enforcement works in the state of Illinois,” says Neil Anderson, State Senator in the 136th District. “The bill is chalked full of unfunded mandates which is going to fall on local governments and counties. In turn those local governments are going to be forced to either make cuts within the department or they are going to have to levy property taxes, and raise property taxes yet again.

Some law enforcement departments have also been critical of the bill .

Albany Police Chief Wyatt Heyvaert has been vocal on Facebook asking people to do their research about the proposed bill.

“Everyone in our profession is for police reform. I think the main concern is they’re trying to push this in too fast. It’s 611 pages I believe. They are trying to push it in a lame duck session, and get it through quickly when nobody has really been allowed to weigh in on it,” says Heyvaert.

He says if the bill was passed as the way it sits now it can change the course of policing.

Heyvaert says, “For lack or better terms you’ll see not as good or quality of service that you would see at this point. Just do your research on it. Like I said before we’re about reform, but let’s slow it down lets do it the right way.

Here’s a link to the full House Bill.

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