Local law enforcement, prosecutors preparing for SAFE-T implementation


QUINCY (WGEM) – The SAFE-T law is expected to go into effect in Illinois early in the new year and the Quincy Police Department and Adams County State’s Attorney’s Office say they are making sure they are ready when it happens.

The law has new requirements and standards that law enforcement must follow, such as the end of cash bail. QPD deputy chief of operations Michael Tyler said a new requirement was an additional 30 hours of training for officers every three years. He said that normally these trainings are optional for the departments.

Tyler said the trainings cover topics such as sexual assault or informed trauma response, civil rights, reporting abuse and self-defense training. He said additional training is good, although there are fears that the training will take officers off the streets, depending on whether it takes place in a classroom or in another city. He said he was already asking his officers to start working on training.

He said they were also working with the Adams County State’s Attorney’s Office regarding changes to how they compile evidence.

“When our officers arrest them and house them, instead of giving a brief account of why we arrested the person and why we believe they committed the crime, we are going to have to add more things to that report, which is what we usually do. with our general offense report, our longer reports, we’ll just have to get that information more quickly to the state’s attorney’s office, so they have that information,” Tyler said.

He said state prosecutors have provided a new evidence form so they can quickly compile all the necessary information.

Those in the Adams County State’s Attorney’s Office said they also needed to make changes to their workflow. Lead attorney Josh Jones said the new SAFE-T Act measures will require a lot more work on their end.

Jones said that right now probable cause is enough to determine if a suspect should be detained, but he said the SAFE-T law would make them need probable cause and a certain number of proofs which must be obtained within 24 hours. .

He said while he understands the arguments on both sides over raising the standard of detention, there are concerns that the 24-hour deadline will put officers and prosecutors under pressure. He said they have created a new arrest form for law enforcement that officers can quickly fill out and provide the necessary information to a judge within that time frame.

“We’ve also created new subsections for particular types of evidence,” Jones said. “If an officer thinks a person may need a loop stamp, the DNA test, we’ve included that information so we can get started right away because again, remember, if anyone is detained, we must bring him to justice within 90 days. .”

Jones said they are also working on pre-written motions and orders that judges can quickly review and sign. These motions include a motion to detain a suspect, a motion to set pretrial conditions, and a motion to revoke those pretrial conditions. He said they were always bringing more motions and orders and always asking the legislature to clarify certain parts of the law that they did not know how to address.

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