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Gordon-Booth Passes Measure to Improve Police Training

As part of national efforts to examine and improve community policing strategies, state Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria, recently passed legislation out of the House of Representatives to improve how law enforcement officers respond to situations involving individuals with mental illness.

Every time a police officer responds to a call there are many unknown factors that they have to react quickly to in order to diffuse the situation,” Gordon-Booth said. “Law enforcement officials need to have as many techniques and resources as possible at their disposal to help them keep everyone involved in the situation safe, including being trained in how to identify the symptoms of mental illness and help these individuals.”

Working with law enforcement officials from across the state, Gordon-Booth passed House Bill 4112, which requires the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board to develop a crisis intervention curriculum. Police officers would have access to training to help identify symptoms of mental illness and deescalate situations involving individuals who demonstrate such symptoms. This piece of legislation came from suggestions made by President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

I had the privilege of serving on the President’s Task Force representing law enforcement and citizens from across Illinois,” Sean Smoot, director and chief counsel for the Police Benevolent & Protective Association of Illinois and the Police Benevolent Labor Committee. “This is the first piece of legislation from the task force’s recommendations to pass out of a legislative chamber. I applaud all of the work Rep. Gordon-Booth has done and look forward to continuing to work with her to improve policing policies in Illinois.”

For more information, contact Gordon-Booth’s full-time constituent service office at 309-681-1992 or by email at repjgordon@gmail.com.