Landmark Law Enforcement Reform Signed by Rauner

House Republicans with law enforcement experience were central to the successful effort to implement a host of law enforcement reforms in the form of SB 1304 and signed into law as Public Act 99-352 on Wednesday, August 12.

The measure, which was worked out with substantial input from police officers, prosecutors, and criminologists, includes provisions intended to sharply increase the number of body cameras (“bodycams”) worn by Illinois police officers as part of their uniforms. This measure responds to concerns raised by the overwhelming level of negative media stories surrounding law enforcement around the nation during the summers of 2014 and 2015.

Provisions included with the measure create an exception for police who are authorized not to wear bodycams in specific situations where the devices will be inappropriate or unnecessarily dangerous. Police departments will be encouraged to present plans to maximize bodycam accessibility to the members of their force.

The full Illinois House supported SB 1304 by a vote of 107-3-4, signaling strong support for the measure.