Sheriffs’ Take on the New Criminal Reform Bill

From Sheriff Bill Prim and the Illinois Sheriff’s Association:

Bill Prim

“We realize the need for police reform as it is important in any profession. 

“As law enforcement analyzes the nearly 800 page House Bill 3653, there are concerns. 

“We want to make certain that we have a voice at the table; that every aspect within this bill is thought through thoroughly. 

“We are committed to making sure our communities are safe, that our residents are safe, and our officers are safe,” Sheriff Bill Prim said.

“Accountability, transparency, training, and professionalism are imperative in our office and have been and will continue to be the cornerstone of our agency.  To the residents of McHenry County, please know that your McHenry County Sheriff’s Office remains steadfast in our mission and core values, to faithfully serve the community, promoting the safety and equal protection for all.”

According to the Illinois Sheriff’s Association, the no cash bail provision makes it difficult to keep people locked up who are awaiting trial.

Without bail, many dangerous offenders will walk free within hours of their arrest.

As we join the Illinois Sheriff’s Association and other law enforcement agencies and analyze the bill that has been sent to the governor, here are some key points that we feel the public should know and be informed of. 

It is vital for you to know, if the bill is passed and put into law, what this means for you, your family and your local law enforcement. 

Some parts of this bill will place hindrance on what law enforcement can do for you today.

Kendall County Sheriff Dwight Baird provided scenarios on how law enforcement won’t be able to provide the current level of police services to victims for misdemeanor offenses:

“One major issue involves what law enforcement can do on behalf of victims.

“There are several offenses in the Illinois Compiled Statutes that are Class B and C misdemeanors for which we will no longer be able to make a physical arrest, unless the suspect poses an obvious threat to the community or any person (page 326 of HB 3653).

“An officer’s discretion to make an arrest is an important tool utilized every day, and I believe the vast majority of situations can be resolved without taking someone to jail.

“However, many situations benefit from an officer taking an offender into custody and restoring peace.

Scenario #1: A person enters onto your property. You tell them to leave and they refuse. You call the police, we tell the person to leave and they again refuse. This normally constitutes trespass (Class B misdemeanor), for which we can no longer make an arrest. We issue the offender a citation and give them a court date within 21 days. If they still refuse to leave we cannot physically remove them, so instead we leave. We have taken enforcement action, but the problem is unresolved and the victim is left to live with the issue.

Scenario #2: You begin receiving repeated phone calls from a subject, perhaps dozens or hundreds in a day. They could be immediate hang ups, harassing or lewd in nature. As mentioned in Scenario #1, once a suspect has been identified all we can do is issue a citation for Harassment by Telephone (Class B misdemeanor) and give them a court date within 21 days. While you the victim have been harassed, perhaps made to feel unsafe, and inconvenienced by having your phone overloaded with meaningless (or worse) calls, the offender has only received a citation and could potentially continue this course of action with fear of only repeated citations.

“This scenario would play out for numerous other offenses, some of which include Interference with Emergency Communications, Assault, Computer Tampering, Residential Picketing and Disorderly Conduct.

“Additionally, in HB 3653 a person can no longer be arrested for Resisting or Obstruction a peace officer, firefighter, or correctional institution employee (a Class A misdemeanor) unless the underlying offense made the person subject to custodial arrest to begin with (pages 274 & 275 of HB 3653).”

Law enforcement is concerned with parts of the bill because it prevents officers from taking immediate, potentially life-saving action in critical situations. 

DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin highlights the following points from the bill:

Page 283-284: Peace Officer’s Use of Force in Making Arrest

“In addition to a police officer being justified in using deadly force only when he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or such other person, the bill adds the following language: ‘or when he reasonably believes, based on a totality of the circumstances, both that

  • Such force is necessary to prevent the arrest from being defeated by resistance or escape; the cause great bodily harm to another: and
  • The person to be arrested just committed or attempted to commit a forcible felony which involves the infliction or threatened infliction of great bodily harm…’

“Consider the change in the law in the following scenario: A police officer responds to an active shooter in a school. The officer sees the suspect shooting innocent children. The officer can use deadly force to stop the shooter, but if the shooter slips out the door of the school the officer is now only justified in using deadly force if he/she reasonably believes the shooter cannot be apprehended at a later date.

“Since almost anyone can be apprehended at a later date, the officer would be required to let the shooter go. Additionally, there is no definition of ‘just’ in paragraph 2 of the bill. Does ‘Just’ mean 2 minutes? 5 minutes? 30 minutes?”

DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin also highlights what changes would occur related to bond:

“On page 370 the bill says that for forcible felonies, a person cannot be detained unless their pretrial release ‘poses a specific, real and present threat to any person or the community.’

“On page 372, in order to detain a person for a list of enumerated gun offenses, the People must allege the defendant’s pretrial release ‘poses a real and present threat to the physical safety of any specifically identifiable person or persons.’

“What is the correct standard?

“If judges are required to find that a defendant is a ‘specific, real and present threat to any person or persons,’ then a husband who murders his wife must be released because we cannot determine he poses a ‘specific, real and present threat to any person or persons,’ because his victim is dead.

“However, a husband who attempted to murder his spouse could be detained, because his victim is still alive.

“In its current form, the bill all but mandates the release of

  • sex offenders,
  • drunk drivers with numerous priors, and
  • drug dealers, irrespective of their likelihood of reoffending; and the most important factor, the danger they pose to the general public, cannot be considered under this legislation.”

This new bill, hinders our ability to protect our community, and will become law without the governor’s veto. 

Because this bill has to be passed in its entirety, we encourage you to contact the governor. 

The Sheriff’s Office continues to interpret this bill with our law enforcement partners. 

We will continue to share information as it progresses. 

We desire to work together on reform, to do what is best for all communities and stakeholders.

Be Part Of The Change:

  • Learn more about this bill, research the facts.
  • Encourage law makers to have law enforcement at the table to discuss reform

Some information shared with permission through the Illinois Sheriff’s Association.


Sheriffs’ Take on the New Criminal Reform Bill — 13 Comments

  1. This highlights the group who thinks their vision of society will rise from the ashes of the anarchy they create.

    It makes American life a little more sporty in the world they are trying to create.

    Is this a bad thing?

    Who needs to call a toothless house cat to chase mice?

    It’s just as inconvenient to keep a Bengal Tiger to chase mice.

    There might be a right way to correct the wild militarization of our police physically and mentally but creating an environment where they cannot protect societal peace isn’t wise.

    No one we know will be calling the police any longer.

    Calling the police is a hopeful move intended to save lives.

    Not calling police will lead to quite a bit of violence.

    If folks thought being asked to leave a property by an officer was scary what happens when no one says a word and the offenders never leave the property while no one even knows the offender existed?

    Peace will eventually reign because the only way to survive will be politely banding together in groups with similar values and enforcing civil understandings.

    Those who need to work away from home will eventually ask a person with particular skills to make sure their family is safe while they’re away and will pay that person for their attention.

    These groups with similar values will come to understandings with other groups close by to enforce a larger peace or the groups will kill one another until one idea rises to dominance over the other.

    Oh wait….

    Americans have done this already and have generously shared the peace and prosperity which comes with our shared understanding of values.

    Now come third world people bringing third world values which have never worked in history toward building peaceful prosperous societies telling Americans they’re doing values wrong so they can destroy that which they do not understand.

    All this with the complicity of politicians who couldn’t care less if police are murdered in the streets, if military aged people are murdered the world over simply to further a politicians wealth or if communities are terrorized and burned to the ground.

    Interestingly those same politicians use the police, military and lip service to community values to attack

    The People the instant they’re shown a very tame version of what they’ve visited on all of us.

    No understanding of history at all.

    Garbage people leading salt of the earth will never continue long term.

    This cannot end well.

  2. Wow are some of the examples cited frightening of having law enforcement hands tied at protecting citizens.

    Does this mean we can harass some of the officials who sponsored this nonsense and not get arrested?

    The one about harassing phone calls,computer use, and going to someones house and not leaving when requested to, or picketing outside the home, I would say leaves them all quite vulnerable for those adamantly opposed to these changes, or opposed to anything for that matter.

    Would hope Fatso vetos it, but he’s still mad about the Fair Tax thing and wants Middle Class folks to suffer…this bill certainly calls for that kind of suffering.

    Criminals Win Again in this State.

  3. One more reason to leave Illinois.

    When the inmates are running the asylum, time to leave.

    Thank the Democrat majority for this potential travesty of the justice system 👎🏾👎🏾

  4. I must have missed it, who is the primary sponsor of this bill?

  5. Prim, our 3 star general. At least he’s not a four or five star!

  6. Looks like Democrats in the Illinois legislature are anti-police and very vigorously working for the criminal element. Not surprising in that many of their colleagues in other States such as Oregon and Washington want to defund or otherwise get rid of police.

  7. If one side has to deploy 30,000 troops to protect its illegitimate administration from attack by the people whose will was subverted to put it in power – at what point do you decide you are already at war?

  8. Lawlessness will end up with more deaths, only this time instead of the police shooting, the victims and offenders will be doing the shooting at each other.

    Time to go to a RED state, these BLUE states are too beholden to the Federal Government and George Soros. I blame the liberal Judges, Politicians and the ACLU who have infiltrated our Judicial system and turned it into a profit/pension program for the connected.

  9. Remember how with children we lightened up on corporal corrections, and almost EVERYTHING became a “time-out”?

    Now, without the ability to arrest, even the “time-out” is gone.


  10. Regarding the above:

    “Page 283-284: Peace Officer’s Use of Force in Making Arrest–

    “In addition to a police officer being justified in using deadly force only when he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or such other person, the bill adds the following language: ‘or when he reasonably believes, based on a totality of the circumstances, both that

    Such force is necessary to prevent the arrest from being defeated by resistance or escape; the cause great bodily harm to another: and
    The person to be arrested just committed or attempted to commit a forcible felony which involves the infliction or threatened infliction of great bodily harm…”

    Recently viewed an episode from season 6 of Blue Bloods fiction police drama series on CBS. A police officer was faced by a young man advancing toward him with both hands up and a knife in his right hand. The police officer kept telling the man to stop and drop the knife. The young man disobeyed, continued his threatening advance toward the police officer and the officer shot him dead. In a following scene, the NY mayor was castigating the police commissioner saying that the police officer should not have shot the guy.

    In real life, we had a president, Obama, who disrespected police, the police were bad. During his administration and in the St Louis area, a very large huge teen age guy attempted to take the gun from a police officer in his car. Then, later, with the police officer on the street, the teen was threatening the police officer and advancing toward him and disobeyed the officer’s command to stop. The officer shot him dead.

    There were some persons nearby who claimed that the teen had his hands up. The police officer said that that was not the case. The police officer was raked over the coals by the mostly left wing media and many politicians. After a very long time and a complete investigation by US AG Eric Holder of the Obama Admin, including many reluctant and honest citizens, it was found that the teen did not put up his hands. The police officer was shown to be innocent but his life was ruined by all of the negative reporting.

  11. Scene 1 : another version: Trespasser does not listen to the popo well then offender / trespassser now deals with the owner Mr. Smith and Ms. Wesson… how do you think the offender would like that receipe? comes with a candy bar.. called oh henry… 🙂

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