With the budget stalemate taking headlines in Springfield the past several months, a law regarding Illinois law enforcement agencies was passed in Springfield.
DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner believes the bill in its final form, ended up being better than what was originally crafted. For him, one of the highlights offers departments access to a database of information regarding officers and disciplinary action.
Additionally, the Sheriff points out the bill addresses something that is already in DeWitt County policy, and that is continuing training. The Sheriff says there are some departments that simply cannot afford those opportunities for their departments.
While the Sheriff tries to focus on the positives of the bill, he says it's hard to ignore some of the negative aspects. Among those are the way the bill addresses body cameras and the use of those, and chokeholds. The Sheriff says that is a form of self-defense among law enforcement, he believes, is rarely used.
The Sheriff feels much of the bill is reactionary to media reports that ultimately ended up not being true. He points out, statistics show police officers only a small amount of the time, use deadly force even when they're justified.
The nearly 200 page document has some provisions that went into effect upon the signing by the Governor, others will go into effect at the first of the year. The Sheriff says overall, the bill brings some much needed reforms to law enforcement, but he says there are many aspects he just isn't comfortable with.