Two state laws increase public safety, crack down on drug crimes - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Two state laws increase public safety, crack down on drug crimes

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Two new Illinois laws are designed to make it easier to catch criminals, and to protect people who work in the judicial system.

"It makes it easier for the police to do their investigation into drug cases." -says Winnebago County State's Attorney Joe Bruscato.

Thanks to House Bill 4081, investigators no longer have to get a court order to record suspects in drug crime cases. Police officers now only need verbal approval through a state's attorney's office.

"It's easier to go to the state's attorney's office and get verbal permission, than it is to prepare and go through the steps necessary right now to gather an over-hear. It's a much more cumbersome process."

Bruscato assures that while things are easier, the new law doesn't always guarantee that each investigator's request will be granted.

"There's still some oversight. The state's attorney's office has the ability to approve or disapprove, but I think this creates the efficiencies that we need to get drug investigation's done."

 

The second bill creates the Illinois Judicial Privacy Act, which removes a judge's personal information from public records, like election documents, and Secretary of State databases. Bruscato hopes all court workers will someday have this same protection.

"State's attorneys and other court personnel hopefully in the future will also be included, because anytime you're working in the criminal justice system, there are challenges when it comes to maintaining your own personal safety." -adds Bruscato.

Both of these bills go into effect January 1st, but sections of the Judicial Privacy Act, concerning the posting of information, are effective within 60 days.

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