Police reforms, new rules on body cameras take hold in Illinois

An Illinois law that sets guidelines for how police use body cameras and establishes new training and reporting requirements for law enforcement took effect in January. These statutory changes do not require the use of body cameras, but they do establish new statewide protocols. For example, the devices must be turned on at all times when an officer responds to a call or is engaged in other law enforcement activities. (Crime victims or witnesses can ask that the cameras be turned off.) New rules on the disclosure and retention of the cameras’ recordings are also now in place.

Signed into law in August, SB 1304 establishes a fund to equip police officers with body cameras, the Chicago Tribune reports; money will come from an extra $5 fee on traffic tickets. Other provisions include:

• a requirement that independent investigators be used in cases of officer-involved deaths; 
• mandatory officer training on use of force and on cultural competency; 
• a ban on police use of chokeholds; 
• statewide data collection on officer-involved deaths and on officers who have been dismissed due to misconduct.