New Illinois Bill Would Give Lawmakers Policing Powers

New Illinois Bill Would Give Lawmakers Policing Powers

SPRINGFIELD – A bill waiting in the Illinois House Executive Committee could potentially provide lawmakers with policing powers.

The measure said after Illinois state representatives and senators completed a law enforcement training course, House Bill 724 would allow them to arrest or cause to be arrested, with or without process, all persons who break the peace or are found violating any municipal ordinance or any criminal law of the state

They could also commit arrested persons for examination and if necessary, to detain arrested persons in custody overnight or Sunday in any safe place or until they can be brought before the proper court.

State Rep. Dan Caulkins, R-Decatur, expressed concerns over mixing the lawmaking powers of representatives with law enforcement echo criticisms long aimed at Chicago aldermen.

Alderman have been considered “conservators of the peace” under Illinois law since 1872, granting them the power to make arrests and carry a concealed handgun in the case they or someone else is under immediate threat of bodily harm, also carrying badges.

But because Chicago is a home-rule municipality, city alderman were able to pass legislation making themselves exempt from the state-mandated firearm training required of law officers to carry firearms, despite possessing similar policing powers.

The bill was assigned to the House Executive Committee on March 2.