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Illinois lawmaker tables bill that would eliminate school resource officers

SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS

UPDATE 2:20 p.m., January 14, 2021

The Illinois lawmaker who introduced a bill Wednesday that would eliminate school resource officers has tabled the legislation, according to a spokesperson for her office.

ORIGINAL STORY

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WREX) — A new bill would effectively end school resource officers in Illinois.

Rep. Anne Strava-Murray (D), of the 81st District, introduced House Bill 0029 on Wednesday.

The proposed legislation amends the school code and says that "law enforcement officers shall not maintain a presence on school grounds unless there exists an imminent threat of danger to students at the school in question or there is reason to believe that urgent and immediate action is necessary to prevent such danger to students."

The bill says "school grounds" means the real property comprising an active and operational elementary or secondary school during the regular hours in which school is in session and when students are present.

The proposed legislation would also include several steps officers must take before detaining and questioning someone under the age of 18.

Here are the four steps officers would have to take, according to the bill:

  1. Ensure that notification or attempted notification of the student's parent or guardian is made.
  2. Document the time and manner in which the notification or attempted notification under paragraph (1) occurred.
  3. Make reasonable efforts to ensure that the student's parent or guardian is present during the questioning or, if the parent or guardian is not present, ensure that school personnel, including, but not limited to, a school social worker, a school psychologist, a school nurse, a school guidance counselor, or any other mental health professional, are present during the questioning.
  4. If practicable, make reasonable efforts to ensure that a law enforcement officer trained in promoting safe interactions and communications with youth is present during the questioning. An officer who received training in youth investigations approved or certified by his or her law enforcement agency or under Section 10.22 of the Police Training Act or a juvenile police officer, as defined under Section 1-3 of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987, satisfies the requirement under this paragraph.

The legislation says those requirements are not required in any of the following circumstances:

  1. Prevent bodily harm or injury to the student or any other person.
  2. Apprehend an armed or fleeing suspect.
  3. Prevent the destruction of evidence.
  4. Address an emergency or other dangerous situation.
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