On Tuesday, March 2, Illinois State Representative Curtis Tarver II (D-25) introduced House Bill (HB) 0724 to make members of the Illinois General Assembly conservators of the peace. Tarver’s office cited uniformity in powers across elected officials in Illinois as the primary purpose of the bill.
Conservators of the peace have the ability to arrest or cause the arrest of individuals who are found to have broken the peace or violated a municipal ordinance or criminal law of the State “with or without process.” Conservators are also able to commit individuals who have been arrested for examination and detain arrested individuals in custody “overnight or Sunday in any safe place or until they can be brought before the proper court,” and possess all other powers that are given by the State and corporate authorities to conservators of the peace.
If the bill is passed, members of the Illinois General Assembly, which is made up of members of the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives, will become conservators of the peace after they successfully complete a training course administered by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board (ILETSB).
The bill notes that Section 10.5 of the Illinois Police Training Act requires that the ILETSB administer training courses that allow certain elected officials at the local level of government to be conservators of the peace. According to the bill, the same requirements would need to be met by members of the General Assembly who become conservators of the peace.
When asked for comment, the office of Representative Tarver stated that “the purpose of the bill is to bring the General Assembly in line with the same language as other elected officials throughout the State of Illinois.”
The mayor, aldermen, president, trustees, marshal, deputy marshals, and policemen in municipalities are currently able to act as conservators of the peace under Section 3.1‑15‑25 of the Illinois Municipal Code. This includes Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Fifth Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston of Hyde Park.