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Park District Calls For Pritzker Veto of HB 3653

The Naperville Park District Board of Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution calling for Governor J.B. Pritzker to veto House Bill 3653, which would institute various criminal justice reforms statewide.

Why They Oppose HB 3653

The resolution states its opposition to the manner in which the Senate passed the bill on January 13 at 4:49 a.m., which was less than an hour after the final bill was introduced.

“I think with this bill, talking about public safety really needs more discussion and more time to talk about this,” said Commissioner Mike King. “It doesn’t need to be rushed in the middle of the night. It needs to get both parties together and talk about the issues. They have an opportunity to do something good for the community – for law enforcement and for our community.”

However, both the resolution and comments from commissioners found fault with some of the contents of the bill.

“We’ve heard from many organizations like the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, from our own county sheriff, our county state’s attorney, and many others in law enforcement expressing grave concerns over what this reform bill will mean for public safety,” said Commissioner Josh McBroom, who introduced the resolution.

How HB 3653 Impacts Park District Police

Commissioners said because the park district employs its own police force, the bill is relevant to park district business.

Park District Attorney Derke Price said House Bill 3653 would limit the Park District Police’s ability to do their jobs.

“Take the most common thing our officers are asked to do, which is to remove a patron from a facility that is creating a problem,” said Price. “What part of the bill does in its work is it takes certain classifications of what would be crimes, in this case, trespass, which would be a Class B or C misdemeanor, and says we’re not allowed to use force for that any longer. Which means that for a person who is trespassing, acting inappropriately at the Beach, the officer would be able to cite them but not remove them.”

The resolution also states concern that there wouldn’t be enough time to train officers before parts of the bill would go into effect on July 1.

Similar Resolutions

Similar resolutions have been brought up with other legislative bodies in recent weeks. Naperville City Council voted down a resolution 4-5 last week. The DuPage County Board indefinitely postponed its own version of the resolution.

Governor J.B. Pritzker has stated his intent to sign HB 3653.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.

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