Sheriff Idleburg weighs in on HB 3653

Lake County’s top cop seeks to inform public of his stance on police reform bill

WAUKEGAN – Sheriff John Idleburg offered this statement on House Bill 3653.

”I have been asked by many what my stance is on HB 3653, the criminal justice and police reform bill, which was recently signed into law, and I want to inform the community of my views.

“First and foremost, I firmly believe the law enforcement profession is driven by the community. Accordingly, when times change and society’s philosophies change, it is incumbent upon us law enforcement executives to adapt to what society expects from law enforcement. In doing this, we earn the trust and faith of the community we serve.

“To that end, I am incredibly proud of every person serving in every division of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office who stepped up to serve their community. Each year, our deputies jump into action to save lives, rescue people from deadly situations, rescue children from physical and sexual abuse, and risk their lives for the sake of protecting others. My pride for the staff of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and my awareness of the often-times risky nature of the job of sworn deputies makes me particularly sensitive to demands for changes to the law enforcement profession. This sensitivity allows me to meet demands for change with open-mindedness and a desire to listen and learn, rather than sheer opposition.

“Over the past two years, since taking office, I’ve listened and learned with an open mind. This led to working with the community, community leaders, elected representatives, my administrative staff and my rank-and-file staff to implement policies and procedures that enhance our accountability and ensure we are operating in a manner consistent with what the community desires. Thus, many provisions in the criminal justice and police reform bill are already in place at the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

“When the criminal justice and police reform bill was introduced in the lame-duck session of the last General Assembly, my administration and I worked very closely with our Lake County legislators to address some of the significant concerns we had with the initial variation of the legislation. While these efforts produced some modifications, there remain portions of the new law requiring adjustments to ensure the safety of both law enforcement and the community. Fortunately, there is a legislative process which my office is actively engaging to collaboratively address these concerns with our community and our legislators. My office has already identified and drafted solutions which I believe are acceptable to the community and legislators and implementable in the profession.

“As we work together to implement change, it is so important we include the community and all of the stakeholders in the conversation. Whether there are portions of the law you believe are important or potions you believe should be modified, I encourage you to communicate with your legislators. In the meantime, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office will continue doing what we do best, proudly serving the people of Lake County with integrity, respect and professionalism.”