In Illinois police officers already have to get a state certification. Some state officials are now pushing to require state licensure for law enforcement officers, but details on such a measure have yet to materialize. Several years ago, Attorney General Kwame Raoul floated the idea when he was a state Senator.
Raoul brought the idea again after George Floyd was killed in police custody in Minneapolis. The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police is ready to sit down with Raoul next week to discuss the idea. Head of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, Ed Wojcicki said the discussions will be good.
He said, “We recognize that the public wants accountability from the police and licensing, if done properly, might be a way to get that done better.” Wojcicki said that he hasn’t seen enough details regarding the costs, licensing process overseeing, or how such a thing would work between local hiring decisions and state licensure.
He said, “As they say the devil’s in the details and that remains to be seen.” The association has some concerns, Wojcicki said. He said he’s already heard one suggestion to have officers get similar amounts of education and training to what doctors get. He said, “I think that’s a crazy idea because that’s not what reasonable people will want, but if you had that level then more politics would be involved.”
Illinois Gov. is also interested in the idea. “I’ve talked to a number of police officers about licensing,” Pritzker said Tuesday. “So we’re trying to take into consideration an issue like that and all sides of it to try and see how we can get something like that done.”