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Will Improved Standards Improve Policing?

We’ll soon find out thanks to provisions contained in the Criminal Justice bill that lawmakers in Springfield hope will address gaps in oversight of law enforcement professionals. Riders in the package that is awaiting the anticipated signature of Gov. JB Pritzker broaden the powers of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (ILETSB), which supervises training and grant programs for law enforcement and correctional officers. It creates a three-tiered system that bans cops who’ve lost board certification from future employment at law enforcement agencies in the state.

The policy change adds to the list of “decertifiable misdemeanors” and felony offenses that will cost those convicted the right to work when it takes effect next year. It grants the ILETSB discretionary power to decertify offenders absent convictions and provides avenues for appeal. And, it broadens access to a database used by chiefs and sheriffs to track personnel and vet job applicants to State’s Attorneys and other agencies.

Cops must submit training and disciplinary records to the board at three-year intervals to maintain an Active status. Certifications that lapse are classed Inactive and applicants must recertify before resuming employment. Underlying the policy change are statistics from a five-year study that show cops in Illinois are far less likely to be decertified than their peers in states where more stringent standards govern codes and practices. From 2009-2014, just 64 cops lost their right to work under the regime the reforms will address.

The  DuPage County Criminal Defense Attorneys at The Chicagoland Law Firm represents clients in courts around the state, including in cases of aggressive policing. To find out how our DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyers build strategies that achieve the best outcomes possible for the facts in their cases, contact our offices today. The free consultation we offer can’t be considered legal advice until you retain us. When you do, we will represent you zealously. We are your best defense.