Earlier this morning, Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law Senate Bill 1304, a carefully-negotiated piece of legislation designed to improve relations between law enforcement and the public they service. Among other things, the legislation advances standards for training of law enforcement officers in Illinois and makes the State the first to implement statewide standards for the use of police-worn body cameras.

The following can be attributed to Khadine Bennett, Legislative Counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois:

We welcome Governor Rauner’s approval of this measure. Little more than a year after the events in Ferguson, Missouri that fixed the nation’s attention on the need to improve relations between the police and the communities they serve, Illinois is taking a critical first step. The new law creates the first statewide standard for detentions or frisks by police, a policy that has garnered significant controversy across the nation as “stop and frisks.”

The provisions regulating body cameras worn by police officers are especially good, striking the right balance between the desire for more transparency and oversight of police activity on the streets with the need to protect individual privacy. We hope that these regulations will help ensure that contacts between police and civilians do not escalate to include the use of force.

We congratulate Governor Rauner, Senator Kwame Raoul, Representative Elgie Sims and legislators from both sides of the political aisle for coming together to make this legislation a reality. More important, we offer our congratulations to the thousands of individual citizens across Illinois (and millions across the nation) who have kept the issue of police/community relations in the public’s attention over the past year. This is an important first step.

Learn more about the bill.