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New bill would make police tipping off criminals a crime

A bill introduced in the state senate would make it a felony for police to tip off criminals.
A bill introduced in the state senate would make it a felony for police to tip off criminals.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Should police be allowed to tip off criminals?

State Sen. Dave Koehler (D) doesn't think so. He's sponsoring a bill that would make it a felony.

In 1998, a police dispatcher warned a drug dealer that the police were near his home. A trial court found the dispatcher guilty of official misconduct, sentencing her to two years of probation. She appealed. In 2010, the Illinois Supreme Court called her actions "unjustifiable", but found her not guilty. There was no state law against what she had done.

Koehler said that the public should be able to trust the police to enforce the law.

The bill (SB2695) provides that an employee of a law enforcement agency commits misconduct when he or she knowingly uses or communicates, directly or indirectly, information acquired in the course of employment, which obstructs, impedes, or prevents the investigation, apprehension, or prosecution of any criminal offense or person. It also provides that an employee who violates this provision is guilty of a Class 3 felony and shall forfeit his or her office or employment.

Source: Mt. Vernon Register-News