Illinois lawmakers are looking to update state rules for when police can use drones.
Illinois passed a drone law in 2013 that required police departments in the state to get a warrant before flying a drone for surveillance. A plan that passed the Illinois Senate this week would change that.
State Sen. Martin Sandoval’s proposal would allow police departments to fly drones for any “legitimate law enforcement purpose.”
“I don”t want Chicago to be the next Las Vegas-style outdoor terrorist attack. But I also don’t want drones to be surveilling everyone’s every move,” Sandoval said Thursday on the floor of the Illinois Senate. “This legislation clearly is limited to drone usage for providing safety.”
Sandoval said his plan would limit where police can use drones to large, public gatherings.
“An individual’s private event, on their own property, would not fall under the exception for law enforcement for the use of a drone,” Sandoval said. “The bill states that large scale events are events that take place at a sports or entertainment area, a stadium, a convention hall, a special event center, an amusement facility, or an event open to the public on government property.”
The ACLU of Illinois has raised concerns. The group said in a statement this week that the new rules could equip drones with facial recognition software, which it said goes beyond just public safety.
“Given Chicago’s history of surveillance against protestors and social justice advocates … the Chicago police should not be able to use this new, powerful tool to monitor protestors near silently and from above,” said Karen Sheley, director of the ACLU Police Practices Project. “The legislation also ignores sweeping surveillance tools currently available to the police.”
There is a similar plan in the Illinois House. That measure has cleared a House committee.
The Illinois Senate overwhelmingly approved Sandoval’s drone rules, 36-2. The measure, SB 2562, will now head to the House for a vote.
Article by the Benjamin Yount, for more INN News visit ILnews.org
Springfield Police tell residents: lock your cars
Springfield is dealing with a city-wide issue of cars being broken into. From the 13th to the 16th, 35 cars were broken into. These incidents happened all over the city. Chief Winslow was asked to discuss this situation at last night’s city council meeting.
Winslow had a very simple message for Springfield residents: lock your cars. Although some of the incidents did involve breaking a car’s window, the overwhelming majority did not. 30 of the 35 break-ins were to unlocked vehicles. Thieves were simply checking the handles of cars to find ones that were unlocked. This is not to excuse the criminal activity, but locking your doors is a key step for your protection.
He went on to say that valuables should not be stored in vehicles; and if they must be, they should be out of sight. If thieves do not see anything worth stealing, they will be much less likely to break in. In addition to items like phones and GPS units, garage door openers are items that are often stolen. Once a thief has the garage door opener, the home becomes vulnerable to burglary as well.
The police are still working to catch those individuals responsible for the break-ins. Five individuals have been arrested, but it is believed that there are many more still out there. Suspects include both juveniles and adults. If you see something suspicious, call the dispatch number 217-788-8311. Don’t call your local police officer in these situations; they may not be on duty and so will not answer right away. If you have other information, especially pictures or video, share it with the police. Just putting it on social media will not ensure the police get access to it.
Take the time to make sure your doors are locked. This is a city-wide issue, and it will take a city-wide effort to deal with it.
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Man in custody after swastikas found painted on gravestones – Glen Carbon, Illinois
A 34-year-old man was taken into custody for the swastikas spray-painted on more than 200 headstones in a Glen Carbon Cemetery and on homes in the nearby area.
According to CNN – More than 1,300 veterans are buried at the Sunset Hill Cemetery in Glen Carbon, and officials are working hard to get it cleaned up before a Memorial Day event Monday, CNN affiliate KMOV reported. Glen Carbon is located about 20 miles northeast of St. Louis.
“We haven’t seen anything of this magnitude in the 30 years that I’ve been here,” said Mark Johnson, the grounds superintendent of the cemetery. “It’s all hands on deck to try to get this thing cleaned up by Monday.
Edwardsville Police Department shared a video to help identify the suspect.
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