police

Victoria Lunacek

Tuesday's National Night Out brought together first responders and the public of Elburn at the downtown Lions Park. People were able to explore firetrucks, ambulances and police cars to see how they work and operate. National Night Out is an annual event held in communities around the country.

Authorities say a Peoria police officer fatally shot a 19-year-old man who fled from a vehicle after a traffic stop in the central Illinois city.

 

The Peoria County coroner says Luis Cruz was pronounced dead early Thursday at a hospital soon after the shooting.

City police spokeswoman Amy Dotson says officers stopped the vehicle as they searched for a wanted suspect. Dotson says an armed person ran away and was shot by an officer, but didn't say whether any other shots were fired. No officers were injured in the confrontation.

FLICKR USER ALAN CLEAVER

The city of Chicago has agreed to pay $2.3 million to settle a lawsuit filed by a teenager shot by a police officer under questionable circumstances.

 

The August 2015 shooting that left Jaquise Evans seriously injured became even more controversial when U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer in January accused city attorneys of withholding evidence during a trial.

BLAKE WOOD

The nation's oldest civil rights organization, the NAACP, and Illinois police officials announced Thursday an agreed upon resolution they say took years to hash out.

The "affirmation of shared principles" was inspired in part by the death of Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014.

 

Rockford officials could tap a public schools support organization to create a local pipeline for new police officers and firefighters. 

The city’s Finance and Personnel Committee voted Monday in favor of a proposal that would pay Alignment Rockford $40,000 per year for three years to create high-school level certification programs for students interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement or firefighting.

NIU

A Northern Illinois University student has reported that four men in a truck harassed him, using racial slurs and displaying a shotgun and a Nazi flag, and the university confirms that police are investigating.

NIU learned on Friday of a Facebook post about the alleged incident, which took place during the noon hour Thursday just off campus in a parking lot in the 100 block of North Annie Glidden Road. The student was not injured.

How Police Psychological Testing Works

Aug 29, 2016
Flickr user woodleywonderworks / "police trooper writing a ticket" (CC BY 2.0)

The psychological status of police officers has come into question after several police-involved shootings across the country in the last few months. But how does that type of screening for police officers work during the hiring process?

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

Northern Illinois University police observed Women’s History Month by hosting an event called "Women of the Shield" that commemorated women officers rising through the ranks.

NIU officer Weyni Langdon says she didn’t see a lot of people that looked like her at the beginning of her career, but she had a lot of women police mentors that inspired her. She wanted to create this type of gathering for the DeKalb area after she attended something similar when she first started out as a police officer.

How Common Is 'White-Collar' Police Misconduct?

Nov 6, 2015
Flickr user Pictures of Money / "Money" (CC BY 2.0)

Officials announced Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz staged his suicide as a homicide and he embezzled thousands of dollars from the department’s youth program. But how common is that kind of misconduct within law enforcement?

Misconduct of any kind happens everywhere and in every profession. It happens particularly with anyone who has access to a large fund.

That’s according to Jonathan Blanks, a research associate for the Cato Institute...a libertarian think tank.

NIU Today

Lake County officials are pushing to train local police officers to help reduce the number of repeat criminal offenders among those with mental illness.

The county board is expected to set aside $35,000 for a police training program at College of Lake County. The county also received a $1 million substance abuse and mental health grant to focus on early police intervention to stem repeat criminal behavior among mentally ill offenders.

Flickr user miss_millions / " Prison cells" (CC v 2.0)

Starting Thursday, more than 150 people from all parts of the criminal justice system with gather at Washington University to ponder a radical remake of the way this country uses incarceration.

Michael Schmidt / AP

UPDATE: 2:10 p.m., 9/2/15

About 100 investigators are actively working on the investigation into the death of Fox Lake Police Lt. Joe Gliniewicz, Lake County law enforcement officials told a news conference this morning. Lake County Major Crimes Task Force Commander George Filenko said the active force is down from 400 during Tuesday's initial response.

No additional details were given of the three suspects -- described simply as two white males and one black male -- in the officer's death.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

Getting a speeding ticket in Illinois will cost you an additional $5, at least. It's part of a new state law regulating police body cameras.

A year after Ferguson, Missouri erupted in protests following the shooting of Michael Brown, Illinois has a law that's described as "landmark."

That $5 per $40 in fines tacked onto traffic citations will be used to create a fund police departments can draw on to pay for the cameras. Once they get them, the law sets standards for their use.

Context - Safe Neighborhoods, Safe City: Changing Roles of Police and Community
Maria Boynton

There’s been a lot of news about strained relationships between police officers and the citizens they serve.   Police officials say they’re making changes to improve relations and build trust within the community but critics claim not enough is being done.

WNIJ's public forum, “Context - Safe Neighborhoods, Safe City: Changing Roles of Police and Community,” was held Thursday, August 27, 2015, at the Kresge Hall in the Riverfront Museum Park, in Rockford.

WNIJ Reporter Sue Stephens moderated the Context panel. Guests were:

Flickr user woodleywonderworks / "police trooper writing a ticket" (CC BY 2.0)

Police could soon be forced to hand out documentation when they stop someone. 

Members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus say they have heard from constituents who claim they are repeatedly stopped by authorities. In some cases, more than once per day.

The lawmakers’ response is a plan to require officers hand out what are called “stop receipts.”

Representative Mary Flowers, a Democrat from Chicago, supports the idea:

thenorthstarnews.com / theblueline.com

Four police officers were released on a $10,000 bond Monday after they were charged with lying under oath in a 2013 drug case. 

Police Sgt. James Padar and officers William Pruente and Vince Morgan, all from Chicago, and Glenview officer James Horn were charged with felony perjury. There were questions about how evidence in a marijuana arrest was obtained.

Flickr user woodleywonderworks / "police trooper writing a ticket" (CC BY 2.0)

Most students learn the fourth amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects citizens from police searches and seizures. But how are police trained in the difference between reasonable suspicion and probable cause?

Police training in the state of Illinois -- whether it's full-time, part-time, military or quasi-military style -- requires 480 hours altogether.  Forty of those are called scenario training.

Police Recruitment Is Harder Than It Looks

Jun 3, 2015
policeprep.com, cops.usdoj.gov, wifr.com

Police departments across the country face new criticism in staff diversity now more than ever. But it's difficult to get -- and keep -- qualified and diverse candidates.

"Truthfully, recruitment is probably one of the toughest things that a small agency in particular, or a medium-sized agency, goes through," Cora Beem, the manager of mandated training for the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, said.

Flickr: West Midlands Police / Photo cropped from original

An Illinois proposal would provide funding for police body cameras.

The measure creates procedures for arrests and traffic stops, including pedestrian searches. Incidents like officer-involved shootings and arrests would have a standard protocol across Illinois, and the proposal would require more police training.

Funding would come from an increase in fines for traffic tickets.

Democratic Rep. Elgie Sims says when police officers wear body cameras, both the community and police benefit.

twitter.com/DixonPolice / Dixon Police

A police shooting-death in Ferguson, Missouri is the motivation behind a northern Illinois police chief's desire to put body cameras on his officers. Dixon police Chief Danny Langloss requested money from the city to buy eight cameras for the department. 

Langloss says he wanted the cameras after the August 20-14 death of Michael Brown. Brown's death sparked protests across the country and raised questions about increased oversight of police. As more cities consider the use of body cameras, a proposed Illinois law would establish guidelines for their use.

David Schaper / NPR

Nine months after the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the state’s eavesdropping law, the legislature passed a bill to replace it. The legislation, which defines eavesdropping and its consequences, is currently waiting on the governor's desk.

Already, the proposed law faces criticism, and a flurry of misinformation. 

Here's a sampling of some headlines from around the web:

"Illinois Passes Bill That Makes It Illegal To Record The Police"

"Illinois law would make recording the police a felony"

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

About 75 people sang, marched, and chalked messages on sidewalksWednesday night in downtown Rockford. Their protest was part of a national demonstration against police brutality.

Illinois Police Officials Call For Body Camera Law

Oct 17, 2014

Illinois law enforcement officials are calling for a state measure that governs the use of police body cameras.

Flickr: West Midlands Police / Photo cropped from original

Facts are often murky around shootings, whether or not they involve police officers, and eyewitness testimony can be unreliable.

ACLU Report: Racial Bias in Illinois Traffic Stops

Aug 13, 2014
Flickr dwightsghost (CC BY 2.0)

An American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois report released today found evidence of racial bias in data collected in 2013 about police consent searches during routine traffic stops.

Eric Hradecky / WNIJ

A young woman fell to her death Friday afternoon at Northern Illinois University. Police say the unidentified woman was in her late teens or early twenties and apparently killed herself by jumping from the campus parking deck .

The university says the person was not a student, nor was she an NIU employee.

The area around the parking garage was blocked off by NIU and DeKalb police this afternoon shortly after the incident. First responders tried to resuscitate the woman, who was taken to Kishwaukee Hospital where she died.

Teens out late in public in Rockford may be subject to the city's curfew law if they are not working or in the company of an approved adult, according to the Rockford Police Department.

No minor under 17 years of age can be out and about in public within the city after midnight Friday and Saturday until 6 a.m. the following morning. The curfew start is moved back to 11 p.m.  Sunday through Thursday, running to 6 a.m. the following day