I stand with the Illinois Law Enforcement Coalition in opposition to Illinois House Bill 163 Senate Amendment 2 which was filed on Tuesday (1/5/21) in Springfield. The coalition released a statement this week which reads in part:
“The so-called “reforms” that are part of House Bill 163 as amended would destroy law enforcement’s ability to keep communities safe. The authors of this legislation are not law enforcement professionals with hundreds of years of combined experience and this bill was drafted without law enforcement input, and because of that the long-term unintended consequences of this legislation would be dire. The Illinois Law Enforcement Coalition recently enumerated its Safe Communities plan, a sensible approach to modernizing Illinois law enforcement, but House Bill 163 as amended would lead to unsafe communities in Illinois. We urge the Illinois General Assembly to avoid making a sudden, rash decision in the Lame Duck Session and instead work carefully with all stakeholders to truly examine what needs to be done regarding law enforcement in Illinois.
The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) State Lodge, FOP Labor Council, FOP Chicago Lodge 7, Illinois Sheriffs’ Association and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police comprise the Illinois Law Enforcement Coalition and have been working on these strategies since summer to improve community safety and enhance the trust between community members and law enforcement.”
It is totally unacceptable to attempt to rush through passage on a significant piece of legislation like House Bill 163, especially in the Lame Duck Session. This bill will impact public safety in every single community across Illinois. House Bill 163 deserves an honest and transparent vetting process. The legislative process should include input from all interested parties including law enforcement and the public. All outreach tools should be employed for public vetting of House Bill 163 including public hearings, tele-town halls, surveys, editorial boards, and others. This legislation deserves attentive review and vigorous debate.
It is my hope that the Illinois General Assembly will take the prudent approach and fully engage their constituents in dialogue before any approval of House Bill 163 is considered.
– Commissioner Sean M. Morrison, 17th District