Bill would punish dispatchers who alert criminals

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate has advanced legislation making it a crime for 911 dispatchers to tip off criminals when law enforcement is nearby.

The measure now goes to the Illinois House.

State Sen. Dave Koehler is the bill's sponsor. He says the legislation is necessary because in 2010 the Illinois Supreme Court ruled nothing in Illinois law made it illegal for a dispatcher to alert a drug dealer that police were in the area.

Koehler is a Peoria Democrat who says the people of Illinois "need to be able to trust the entire law enforcement system."

In 1998 a dispatcher in the Chicago suburbs was convicted of official misconduct after she tipped off a local drug dealer that police were near his house. The dispatcher appealed.

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The bill is SB2695.