Page 33 - February 2021
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safety for everyone while dismantling the systems that holds black people back from achieving their full potential, as well as increasing trust between law enforcement and the black community.
The FOP noted that while the black community talks about how the system is what is holding black people back, it seems like that fact is that people have forgotten the difference be- tween right and wrong. The way to build trust needs to begin at an early age and begins at home.
The caucus praised how the bill requires the use of body cameras statewide by 2025.
The FOP asserted that this mandate is probably the most expensive of the unfunded mandates. There is no funding for FOIA or subpoena compliance and no funding for data storage or equipment replacement costs. This will result in Officers no longer engaging the public for fear of being criminally charged for what is not a criminal offense. The legislation also does not take into account any of the studies on the limitations of body cameras.
Sponsor arguments seem frivolous, especially when try- ing to advocate for the value of removing the requirement for sworn affidavits for police misconduct complaints. They seemed to forget that the reason the sworn affidavit require- ment was created was because of the number of false com- plaints being made against police officers. And if a citizen wants to make a truthful complaint, then the sworn affidavit requirement shouldn’t be an issue.
Where there’s a bill, there’s a way
Of course, many Lodge 7 members will see HB3653 as a ve- hicle to defund the police. And with no additional funding to meet the mandates of the bill, all that seems to be left is how it
puts officers at a legal and physical disadvantage when com- pleting their duties.
Stephens said that a lesson learned from the rollercoaster surrounding the passage should be for the General Assembly to debunk it’s all-too-frequent approach of thinking that every time somebody comes up with a great idea that they just can’t ram it through and hope that there money’s there for it.
“We need to remember that our job is not to get the majority on the Republican side or the Democratic side,” he added. “It’s to do that right thing to make sure the people have safe com- munities, good jobs and aren’t taxed to death. We’ve got to get back to basics.”
As Cunningham sat in his office alongside Representative Fran Hurley, who will be taking over as the chair of the House Police and Fire Committee in the spring session, they consid- ered how Lodge 7 members can get out the mops and clean up the milk oozing all over the floor from the lame duck adven- ture. They anticipate trailer bills coming about how to imple- ment the new bail system and addressing the double jeopardy the new decertification process could cause.
Toward that end, what really matters now for Chicago Lodge 7 members is to get involved in the process.
“When we were in Springfield a few weeks ago, legislators listened to your input and it resulted in two of the most con- troversial aspects being removed from the bill,” Cunningham emphasized. “One way to build advocacy is when we hear from our constituents. If you stay engaged and continue to reach out to legislators in a constructive way and really make sure your point of view is heard, you will get positive results out of Springfield and anywhere else where laws are made.”

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