Apr 04, 2014 14:00 ET

Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police Public Safety Statement Regarding Illinois Senate Bill 3411

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., April 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- This is a statement about public safety from Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police Executive Director, John H. Kennedy:

The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police is concerned about the negative impact on public safety that is likely to result if Illinois Senate Bill 3411 (SB 3411) is passed. While law enforcement executives strongly agree with eliminating the imposition of arbitrary traffic ticket quotas, the bill would also eliminate vital data-driven performance measures used to assist in the performance appraisal of police officers. Under the provisions of this bill, Illinois would stand to lose millions of dollars in federal highway traffic safety funding for DUI saturation patrols, restraint enforcement details and speed reduction campaigns.

If the bill passes, for example, an officer who refuses to make DUI arrests or who doesn't write a ticket to a motorist for passing a stopped school bus could not be disciplined or have it documented in their performance evaluation. SB 3411 would intrude on the management rights of local law enforcement executives to decide what is in their communities' best interests. Police Chiefs would lose their means to properly supervise officers using objective data that demonstrates that officers are meeting the expectations set by our communities.

Traffic enforcement is one of the core functions of law enforcement. Several years ago, Illinois finally saw annual traffic fatalities drop below 1,000 for the first time since 1924. One of the reasons for this was aggressive enforcement of those violations that contribute to injury and deaths in traffic crashes in our state. Also, "traffic" problems continue to be one of the top complaints of citizens in our communities. This bill would essentially strip from law enforcement leaders the ability to establish expectations of officers and hold officers accountable for certain minimum performance standards. There is no "one size fits all" standard of performance for all police departments. Therefore, Chiefs need to continue to have the ability to establish performance measures and expectations specific to their individual agencies.

It is critical to maintain this data-driven tool to support the ability of our local law enforcement executives to objectively evaluate police officer performance.

John H. Kennedy
Executive Director
Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police

SOURCE Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police

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