GULF SHORES, Ala. (WKRG) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker calls the new, almost 800-page police reform law “a transformative step forward,” but that’s not how Gulf Shores Police Chief Ed Delmore sees it. “The war is over, and the good guys lost.”
In an open letter to the Illinois governor, Delmore expressed his disappointment over his home state insisting on “reactive and not proactive law enforcement.”
“It was really a tongue-in-cheek thank you for sending me your good people,” says Delmore, who adds the exodus of law enforcement has already begun. “We’ve got a lot of applicants in the lead up to this and now post bill signing from good, sharp, well-educated people of character who are currently serving as police officers in Illinois.”
Among other issues, Delmore says the law eliminates cash bail for certain crimes, officers can be charged with a felony if they review body camera footage before filling out police reports and officers will not be able to make an arrest for certain misdemeanors like trespassing. “I don’t think that something like this could happen in Alabama with the level of support that we get. It is a cautionary tale though. We’ve seen it happening in other parts of the country as well.”
Illinois lawmakers have two years to tweak the law before it is fully implemented. In the meantime, Delmore says the stack of applications on his desk from officers from Illinois is getting higher and higher.