Springfield, IL – A Republican lawmaker has introduced legislation that would require all elected officials in Illinois to wear bodycams while conducting public business.
Illinois State Representative John Cabello said he sponsored his legislation to try and reduce political corruption at state and local levels, the Rockford Register Star reported.
“We see the dealings going on in Chicago with some of the wiretaps and some of the corruption that’s been going on for decades,” Cabello said.
“We hear of the state lawmakers that get themselves into trouble with bribes and so on and so forth.” He added. “So, I just thought that since the state was looking at making all police officers wear body cameras, I figured this might be a good way to have records of what lawmakers are doing.”
Cabello, a veteran Rockford police officer, said his bodycam bill is not an attempt to reinvent the wheel, but rather to utilize a tool that has worked well for law enforcement, the Rockford Register Star reported.
“It’s going to be the same as what law enforcement will have to do,” he said. “There’s not going to be one person going through all of the recordings. It’s more of if someone makes an allegation or a complaint, you’ll at least have some footage to go through.”
House Bill 3447 would have the State Board of Elections create the actual rules for usage of the bodycams, the Rockford Register Star reported.
Cabello said bodycam videos could be used as evidence in any administrative, judicial, legislative or disciplinary proceeding involving public officials.
However, the bodycam video would not be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, according to the Rockford Register Star.
His proposed law would apply to city, county, and state elected officials, the legislator said.
“If they want to be an elected official, they should be following the law,” Cabello said. “If they don’t want to, I think they ultimately shouldn’t be an elected official. We would find ways of being able to remove them.”