Illinois (ECWd) -
"For the reasons that follow, the Public Access Bureau concludes that the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (Board) improperly denied Mr. Kirk Allen's January 19, 2017, FOIA request.
All I wanted was a copy of the Officer Professional conduct database. Who knew such a database even existed? Not until we exposed numerous acts of malfeasance by this agency did we realize this particular database existed. So what is the database and why do we want it?
Sec. 6.2. Officer professional conduct database.
(a) All law enforcement agencies shall notify the Board of any final determination of willful violation of department or agency policy, official misconduct, or violation of law when:
(1) the officer is discharged or dismissed as a result of the violation; or
(2) the officer resigns during the course of an investigation and after the officer has been served notice that he or she is under investigation that is based on the commission ofofficer'sClass 2 or greater felony.
The agency shall report to the Board within 30 days of a final decision of discharge or dismissal and final exhaustion of any appeal, or resignation, and shall provide information regarding the nature of the violation.
(b) Upon receiving notification from a law enforcement agency, the Board must notify the law enforcement officer of the report and his or her right to provide a statement regarding the reported violation.
(c) The Board shall maintain a database readily available to any chief administrative officer, or his or her designee, of a law enforcement agency that shall show each reported instance, including the name of the officer, the nature of the violation, reason for the final decision of discharge or dismissal, and any statement provided by the officer. (Source: P.A. 99-352, eff. 1-1-16.)
Knowing there is a database maintained by the State of Illinois that pertains to the Professional Conduct of our police, do we need to explain why we want it?
The state pushed back with 16 claimed exemptions. I provided this request for review and detailed why the database was, in fact, a public record subject to FOIA.
In short, The ILETSB believes the officers misconduct is protected by privacy rules and that overrides the public interest in knowing their conduct.
"The Board's response acknowledges that the " public should be advised of officers who have been decertified and can no longer serve in law enforcement positions[,]" but asserts that the public' s interest in learning which officers have been reported to the database is not comparable."
We are pleased to see the PAC has ruled in our favor and now we get to see if they are going to voluntarily provide the database as directed or will we have to file suite to get them.