Illinois governor signs bill making state the first to end cash bail


Justice reform bill that was signed into law by the governor. Fundamentally changing the way criminal justice is done across the state. The first state Illinois becomes the first state in the U. S to end cash bail, and I know a lot of law enforcement groups and attorneys generals across the state have come out. With some questions about it or not, they're they're a little concerned about some of the language language in this 700 plus Page Bill chief Mitchell Davis, though he's not one of them that that I understand he people leaves. This is going to be very good for the state. He's the hazel crust. Hazel Crest Police Department chief. Thank you, chief for spending time with us here on WGN. Thank you for having me. Tell us what it is that we should know about this. Why it is you are so much in favor of what was just past. We'll get to some of the concerns too. But what do you What do you like about this? How do you see this is the path forward? Well, I look at this as an opportunity for reforms. And I guess before I go toe reform for me is that after the definition says, is to make things better not just change, but the change them for the better. And this just gives us an opportunity to put reforms in place that can allow law enforcement to be more equitable in our administration of justice. Mm hmm. So, uh, specifically, some of the things that come out is the end of cash bail. There is the state wide use of force standards so statewide, they'd make determinations about what kind of use of force which is okay. These officers have to be equipped with body cams. Some of the ones that have him have to that goes into effect right away. If you don't have him, you've got some time to do that. Do you have those in Hazel Crest? We actually are in the evaluation process for our body cams. We were. It was already number one of our list of priorities. Before this. This legislation was enacted and it just, you know, just was right in line with what we were doing so many, many departments that don't have them, uh, law enforcement in general, I believe once by can, but it's the financial responsibility that comes along with him. Is what hinders most folks and that's what delayed us in getting Yeah, I hear that a lot. I hear that both the good officers, the law abiding ones, the ones that the vast majority overwhelming majority of folks who wear the badge would like them. They think that they help them sometimes to ever, maybe more often than the folks who are the suspects in the case. I don't know, but they say that it's not a bad thing. I think the only complaint I've heard is that how do you get the money for that? Right? They're expensive. They're expensive to buy the expensive to operate. Keep running and that for smaller police departments like yours That becomes a real sort of obstacle. Our burden? Yes, ma'am. And so the state of Illinois has a Body worn camera Grant fund through the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, and you can apply for grant money through that entity. And while initially when that program was started, there was a lot of different caveats. If you take this money, there was a lot of different quote things that you had to do in order to take the money and to get the body cams and what ultimately ended up happening it happening is a lot of people did not take the money because they didn't they weren't able to comply with what was being asked of them. What's happened since then, is those things that were initially asked were put into law. So whether you got body cams are now now you have to comply with those things. So, um, that Grant Fundo we need for it to be expanded. S O. Once again. Most folks are not against body cams. But we do need that financial assistance, especially as you say the most departments are like Hazel Crest. Most departments are Chicago. Most departments are, uh most municipalities don't have that money to outfit all of their their people that we work for them. So we absolutely need funding to be paired with this legislation, and that's one of the things that we have to try to make sure that is implemented. Because the unfunded mandates are what we're going to make this bill fail in a big way, and I'm just prayerful that they will have the commitment to making sure that we have the funding to make sure things happen. Chief. I've heard. I'm sure you've heard this. I've heard this number of law enforcement folks. I know who say this anonymous complaints thing. You're allowed to make anonymous complaints against a police officer. While that sounds like it should happen for certain reasons, people would be afraid of intimidation or something. Someone patrolling the neighborhood who now is going to hold something against them. There are a number of reasons why people might be fearful to come forward. And so I get the thinking behind it. What officers think, believe many of them and I'm sure you've heard. This isn't in this environment where there is a lot of anti police sentiment. Some people don't even believe we should have police. That there are just going to be targeted attempts to try to remove officers and if you could do that anonymously, boy, that's going to be a lot more simple to do. Well, you know, and I've heard that argument as well. But we have to realize is that just because somebody files a complaint, somebody's not gonna lose their job. They're still due process, so whether it's an anonymous complaint or whether it's somebody who's filled out an affidavit. They act. It has to be substantiated. It has to be investigated and an officer is not held accountable to that complaint until that whole process has done so that due process is in place. Okay, So you feel comfortable that you you tell your officers visit? You've heard it right that they come to you and said that I've heard it from from officers from all over the state of a little bit. That is a concern that you know departments will be overwhelmed with anonymous complaints and and I get it. It may require more work for us. But the the end result is there are areas and there are some communities where people need to be able to file anonymous complaints. And if we can find a way so that we meet that need for folks to file anonymous complaints and not cause undue burden on our police departments and not jeopardize our officers, making sure that they have that due process That's what we have to meet in the middle. And that's where moving forward we gotta come up with solutions that can help us solve those challenges. Yeah, I think a couple things that I don't like about the bill. One is that the way it was past it sort of was this lame duck session middle of the night. Truly, like three or four in the morning, They dropped this 700 page. Bill and they said, Go ahead, take a look at it and you got an hour and we're gonna vote. And so suddenly over the weeks and weeks that followed, there were little things in there and maybe some big things to the people found that they thought, Wait a minute. This This might not be the way it's written may not be what we really need in terms of That delicate balance between preserving public safety and also giving suspects who have not been convicted rights and not not going after poor people simply because they're poor. I get that one of the things that's pointed out to me, and this is more of a prosecutor thing and judges, but it has to do with law enforcement to is that Now, in order to detain someone that the whole no bond thing in order to detain someone, you have to show that they pose a threat specifically to a certain person. So anyone who does sort of crime of convenience, whether it's a Carjacking or sexual assault or robbery or so many of the crimes That you see unless you can say that this person actually would go back out and go after this person. The judge and the prosecutors don't really have a lot of leverage to detain that person. Do you think that that will lead to that person may be a person who does violent crimes. To just think. Well, there are no consequences. So I believe that the you know, and once again as you mentioned this is for the judiciary and for prosecutors, more so than the police, But I believe that the foundation of it is that the person cannot be a threat. Now what the determining factors are for that person being a threat. Those are things that that's all gonna have to be hashed out. And one of the things that I'm once again. I'm hopeful for I'm prayerful for is that the no cash bond. It does not go into effect for a couple years. So that gives time for judiciary for prosecutors for legislators to sit down and really hash this out and look at unintended consequences that may have resulted from the initial language and I think that for me, that's where I'm most hopeful is that throughout the entire bill, what the legislators have told us And they asked for input all along with this well what they what? They've told us that even with this initial passage that they're looking to make things better in the bill, and so that's where the collaboration comes into place by everybody by the legislators. By my police officers, everybody by the community that we all come together and look at things were not going to agree on everything. But if we could make it more palatable so that it at the end of the day it works out for what's best for everybody. I believe that this bill can ultimately be something that can be. It'll be was used around the country as a standard. Hey, they These are the mistakes. They made it to the things that they've done right, But at the end of the day, I think it can help everybody if it's done right with collaboration and proper funding for the mandates that are being given to us. All right, Chief, I I certainly appreciate time and and your perspective. It's good to hear from someone in law enforcement. Who does support this and hear what you have to say about it. So thank you for making time for us. Yes, ma'am. Have a great day. Thank you, sir. Chief Mitchell Davis. There. He's with Hazel Crest. Speedy. We're gonna get to the

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