Body Camera Option for Illinois Police Moves Forward

Compromise police bill passed by both houses. The measure includes provisions intended to sharply increase the number of body cameras (“bodycams”) worn by Illinois police officers as part of their uniforms. SB 1304 responds to concerns raised by Illinoisans and to requests made by police officers and management. House Republicans, especially Representatives Cabello and Anthony, were part of the negotiating team that worked out agreed language for this bipartisan bill.

Police officers and management were interested in language that would allow police not to wear bodycams in specific situations where the devices would be inappropriate or unnecessarily dangerous. Increased training will be provided through the state-funded Police Training Board to inform current and future police officers on the appropriate use of bodycams and videos. As agreed by both houses, SB 1304 will require that a $5 supplement be added to all fines imposed upon convicted defendants in criminal and traffic cases. Monies from this supplemental fine will be granted to police forces seeking assistance in maximizing bodycam accessibility to the members of their force.

A House vote of 107-3-4 signaled strong support for the agreement from both sides of the aisle. Passage of SB 1304 by both Houses cleared the way for the measure to be sent to Gov. Rauner for his signature.