ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL ANNOUNCES POLICE REFORM BILL
Reforms Focus on Creating Uniformity, Promoting Professionalism, Increasing Transparency
Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul today announced legislation to improve the police certification and de-certification process as part of his ongoing effort to advocate for policies that make lasting, systemic change to policing in Illinois.
House Bill 841, sponsored by Sen. Elgie Sims and Rep. Justin Slaughter, was initiated by Raoul and focuses on three key areas for reform: creating uniformity for officers and departments across the state, promoting professionalism in law enforcement, and increasing transparency. Currently, the ways in which law enforcement and state’s attorneys investigate and take action in response to officer misconduct vary from department to department. Currently the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (ILETSB) can de-certify an officer only in the event of a felony conviction and a limited list of misdemeanors.
“Now more than ever, meaningful law enforcement reform is essential to restore the public’s trust in law enforcement and to hold officers accountable for egregious misconduct that should render them unworthy of being a police officer anywhere in the state,” Raoul said. “This is a product of months of collaborative discussion with law enforcement partners and is just one component of what must be a multifaceted approach to improving accountability, transparency, and professionalism among officers. I am committed to continuing to collaborate with our law enforcement partners and reform advocates to improve policing in communities throughout Illinois, and I encourage members of the General Assembly to pass this legislation to help achieve this goal.”
"I am gratified that Attorney General Raoul has shown support and leadership on this issue," Sims said. "These reforms seek greater protections not just for the community, but for police officers. Justice is served when it is applied with consistency and due process. Trust is established when the public knows that authority figures are held to account. Inconsistent standards and a lack of transparency create distrust toward officers, and that in turn endangers not only them, but all of us."
“As we address police accountability, it is critical that Illinois strengthen its oversight and enforcement policies for law enforcement,” Slaughter said. “This measure puts forth a robust certification and de-certification process that will increase public safety and comprehensively improve policing in Illinois.”
HB 841 will make the following improvements to the police certification and de-certification process in Illinois:
As part of Attorney General Raoul’s calls for comprehensive policing and criminal justice reform, he has advocated for broader pattern and practice authority for state attorneys general and improved crime victim compensation. Raoul worked with the Illinois Black Caucus to include language in House Bill 163 that would give the Illinois Attorney General’s office clear authority under state law to investigate and resolve patterns or practices of unconstitutional policing by local and state agencies. Additionally, as recommended by Raoul, HB163 would improve the Crime Victim Compensation Program. The bill would allow the Attorney General’s office to more efficiently administer benefits in order to make resources more accessible to survivors. Modernizing the program will not only allow the Attorney General’s office to better meet crime victims’ immediate needs, but will also contribute to breaking the cycle of community violence.
The Civil Rights Bureau enforces state and federal civil rights laws to prohibit discrimination in Illinois and advocates for legislation to strengthen those laws. Raoul encourages people who need to file a complaint to do so online or by calling the Civil Rights Hotline at 1-877-581-3692.
Attorney General Raoul encourages individuals who have been impacted by a violent crime to call his office’s Crime Victims Assistance Line at 1-800-228-3368 or visit the Attorney General’s website.