Group of police chiefs says criminal law revamp is 'anti police'

Criminal justice reform

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- An organization representing police chiefs across the state of Illinois had been urging Governor Pritzker to veto the so-called Criminal Justice Reform Bill.

Ed Wojcicki, director of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, said the group is especially opposed to the provision of the bill that eventually gets rid of cash bail.

"Despite what the proponents say, the way that it might be implemented could mean that you are going to have dangerous criminals running around on the street," he said.

Wojcicki said it could lead to violent criminals being freed from pre-trial detention. Too much depends on what judges, prosecutors, and the like do.

"It's all in how it is implemented. It's all in how judges might interpret it. It's involved in what state's attorneys might recommend," he said.

He said New York and Utah legislatures are having second thoughts about similar bills now in effect.

The group also opposes provisions making it a felony for police officers to violate body camera rules. And prohibiting them from viewing their own video before writing police reports.

"To say a police officer can't review his or her own video before writing a report - that's pretty harsh," Wojcicki said. "You and everybody else are calling it a Criminal Justice Reform Bill, I think it is fair to call it an Anti-Police Bill."

He said police feel like they are the targets of the new laws.