President Black speaks to the passage of the new police reform legislation 

January 13, 2021

As you may already be aware, early this morning the Senate voted 32-23 to pass HB 3653 SA 2, which is the huge Omnibus Police Reform Bill. Just before lunch, the House also voted 60-50 to pass this piece of legislation. To echo the comment of our Law Enforcement Coalition statement, we are extremely disappointed by the process, the lack of discussion and collaboration with members of law enforcement by our law makers, and the ultimate voting outcome in the Illinois General Assembly today.  Earlier language in this bill would have destroyed our profession. While some of that language was stricken, there are still some provisions in this bill that will make our communities less safe.

When faced with adversity people have two choices; you can give up, or you can persevere. Our noble profession does not have these choices. There is only one choice; we march forward, persevere and continue to be the guardians of our communities. As your president, the one positive outcome of this has been the support of our members, engagement by our members, and the overwhelming support from our citizens over the last week. We will not let this defeat us nor diminish our resolve. We will continue to affect positive change in our communities. We will continue to be active listeners of the people we serve. And we will continue to build trust with our residents and stakeholders. 

Finally, when you have a moment please thank your legislative team: Executive Director Ed Wojcicki, Lobbyist John Millner, Chief Jim Kruger, Chief Marc Maton, Chief Mitch Davis, and our attorney Don Zoufal. Since July, we have spent many hours on Zoom meetings and calls discussing the licensing bill and many late night and early morning phone calls in addressing the Reform Bill over the last week. It was a true collective team effort. 

photo caption: Chief Black outside the Senate chamber in the State Capitol on Saturday, January 9, waiting to testify with Ogle County Sheriff Brian VanVickle on the police reform bill.