Illinois governor signs police guidelines for body cameras - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Illinois governor signs police guidelines for body cameras

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KFVS/AP) - Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation making Illinois one of the first states to establish a comprehensive plan addressing police procedures on body cameras, bias-free policing and other issues.

The proposal Rauner approved Wednesday beefs up reporting requirements for pedestrian stops and arrests and outlines updated guidelines for police training. It also largely prohibits the use of chokeholds.

The Johnston City police department recently invested in body cameras.

"We just want to bring more accountability to the department and more transparency, so that was one of the things that we wanted to do with the body cameras and in-car cameras as well, just to be more transparent," Johnston City Police Chief, William Stark said.

And residents in the area are for them as well.

 “And they get body cams, it might make it better around here," resident Gary Ragsdale said.

“It’ll keep less drama down, people think that police are out to get them, when they’re just trying to help them," resident Brandy Zinn said.

“It protects these police officers from getting in trouble with these cities and if they’re not doing anything wrong and it protects the people if they are doing something wrong," resident Butch McGee said.

Officers will require a certain amount of training before using the body cameras, training that includes when they should be recording.

Chief Stark says he believes they’re needed.

“Not for the mere purpose that I think that collectively  long enforcement has done anything wrong,  so to speak, but I believe that that’s what people expect," Chief Stark said. "I think that that’s the way that we’re going as far as more accountability for the law enforcement officers, so if it’s going to go that way, we just want to be one of the first ones on the ship.”

All 13 Johnston City police officers will be required to wear these body cameras once they receive the proper training and follow the department guidelines.

The Johnston City police department is currently in the process of getting all of their body cameras.

Dozens of states have passed measures in the wake of last year's fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Three states passed comprehensive plans: Illinois, Colorado and Connecticut.

Supporters call the Illinois measure a model nationwide.

Rauner signed the bill in a private ceremony in his Springfield office. In a statement he says it helps strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and the public.


The legislation is SB1304.

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Copyright 2015 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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