Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB0730
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Full Text of SB0730  101st General Assembly


Sen. Terry Link

Filed: 4/4/2019





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend Senate Bill 730 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
4    "Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the First
5Responders Suicide Prevention Act.
6    Section 5. Legislative findings. The General Assembly
7finds that:
8    (1) This State's first responders are tasked with work that
9is highly stressful if one continually faces the impact of
10murder, violence, accidents, serious injury, and death. The day
11in and day out impact of these situations wreak havoc
12personally and professionally on those who serve their
13communities. Work as a first responder is a combination of
14extreme boredom with incidents of mind-numbing terror. No
15person, no matter how highly trained or well-adjusted, is
16immune to the long-term impact of cumulative stress or sudden



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1critical incidents.
2    (2) Since September 11, 2001, the role of first responders
3has changed dramatically. First responders have become the
4teachers, advocates, counselors, enforcement, and safety to
5those they serve, yet year after year, police and firefighters
6always rank at the top for the most stressful jobs in this
7country. The demands of shift work, change in politics and
8public policy, and having to make life changing decisions
9within seconds are all contributing factors in the mental
10health and welfare of our public servants. Alcoholism, divorce,
11depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),
12stress-related health issues, and suicide among first
13responders are constantly well above the national average. The
14health and well-being of first responders not only affect the
15officer or firefighter, but those who work closely around the
16first responder and the public he or she serves and protects.
17    (3) The purpose of this Act is to allow agencies to train
18personnel in peer counseling. This allows firefighters and law
19enforcement officers to have access to trained persons within
20their respective fields to speak to and seek guidance during
21difficult and challenging times in their careers and lives.
22Most first responders feel comfortable speaking to others
23within their profession that have experienced similar
24situations. Allowing this type of counseling gives public
25servants the ability to seek help during trying times with the
26confidence of knowing their issue is held in confidence with



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1someone who understands. No longer should these public servants
2have to suffer in silence.
3    (4) Maintaining an emotional and mentally healthy class of
4first responders should be a priority goal to achieve. Healthy
5police make better decisions, increase productivity, create
6better work environments, and respond to society in a much more
7open and effective manner.
8    Section 10. Definitions. In this Act:
9    "Emergency services provider" means any public employer
10that employs persons to provide firefighting services.
11    "Emergency services personnel" means any employee of an
12emergency services provider who is engaged in providing
13firefighting services.
14    "Employee assistance program" means a program established
15by a law enforcement agency or emergency services provider to
16provide counseling support services to employees of the law
17enforcement agency or emergency services provider, including
18peer support counselors who have received training in
19counseling and moral support.
20    "Law enforcement agency" means any county sheriff,
21municipal police department, police department established by
22a university, Department of State Police, Department of
23Corrections, Department of Children and Family Services,
24Division of Probation Services of the Supreme Court, the Office
25of the Statewide 9-1-1 Administrator, and other local or county



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1agency comprised of county probation officers, corrections
2employees, or 9-1-1 telecommunicators or emergency medical
4    "Peer support counseling session" means communication with
5a counselor through an employee assistance program or a trained
6peer support counselor designated by the emergency services
7provider or law enforcement agency.
8    "Public safety personnel" means any employee of a law
9enforcement agency.
10    Section 15. Establishment of employee assistance program;
12    (a) This Act applies to peer support counseling sessions
13conducted by an employee or other person who:
14        (1) has been designated by a law enforcement agency or
15    emergency services provider or by an employee assistance
16    program to act as a counselor; and
17        (2) has received training in counseling to provide
18    emotional and moral support to public safety personnel or
19    emergency services personnel who have been involved in
20    emotionally traumatic incidents by reason of their
21    employment that may affect their ability to execute their
22    respective duties.
23    (b) An emergency services provider or law enforcement
24agency may establish an employee assistance program to assist
25emergency services personnel and public safety personnel,



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1including designating a person within the emergency services
2provider or law enforcement agency to act as a peer support
3counselor. An emergency services provider or law enforcement
4agency shall give appropriate training in counseling to provide
5emotional and moral support to persons designated as a peer
6support counselor. Emergency services personnel and public
7safety personnel may refer any person to an employee assistance
8program or peer support counselor within the emergency services
9provider or law enforcement agency, or if those services are
10not available within the agency, to another employee assistance
11program or peer support counseling program that is available.
12    Section 20. Confidentiality; exemptions.
13    (a) Any communication made by a participant or counselor in
14a peer support counseling session conducted by a law
15enforcement agency or by an emergency services provider for
16public safety personnel or emergency services personnel and any
17oral or written information conveyed in the peer support
18counseling session is confidential and may not be disclosed by
19any person participating in the peer support counseling
21    (b) Any communication relating to a peer support counseling
22session made confidential under this Section that is made
23between counselors, between counselors and the supervisors or
24staff of an employee assistance program, or between the
25supervisor or staff of an employee assistance program, is



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1confidential and may not be disclosed.
2    (c) This Section does not prohibit any communications
3between counselors who conduct peer support counseling
4sessions or any communications between counselors and the
5supervisors or staff of an employee assistance program.
6    (d) This Section does not apply to:
7        (1) any threat of suicide or homicide made by a
8    participant in a peer counseling session or any information
9    conveyed in a peer support counseling session related to a
10    threat of suicide or homicide;
11        (2) any information relating to the abuse of children
12    or of the elderly or other information that is required to
13    be reported by law; or
14        (3) any admission or knowledge of criminal conduct.
15    (e) All communications, notes, records, and reports
16arising out of a peer support counseling session shall be
17exempt from inspection and copying under the Freedom of
18Information Act.
19    (f) A cause of action exists for public safety personnel or
20emergency services personnel if the emergency services
21provider or law enforcement agency uses confidential
22information obtained during a confidential peer support
23counseling session conducted by a law enforcement agency or by
24an emergency services provider for an adverse employment action
25against the participant.



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1    Section 25. Judicial proceedings.
2    (a) Any oral communication or written information made or
3conveyed by a participant or counselor in a peer support
4session, including an employee assistance program, is not
5admissible in any judicial proceeding, arbitration proceeding,
6or other adjudicatory proceeding, except to the extent
7necessary in an action described in subsection (f) of Section
820 or if related to information obtained under subsection (d)
9of Section 20.
10    (b) Nothing in this Section limits the discovery or
11introduction into evidence, knowledge acquired by any public
12safety personnel or emergency services personnel from
13observations made during the course of employment or material
14or information acquired during the course of employment that is
15otherwise subject to discovery in evidence.
16    Section 110. The Department of State Police Law of the
17Civil Administrative Code of Illinois is amended by adding
18Section 2605-99 as follows:
19    (20 ILCS 2605/2605-99 new)
20    Sec. 2605-99. Training; suicide prevention. The
21Department, in consultation with a statewide association that
22represents public pension funds under Article 3 and Article 4
23of the Illinois Pension Code, shall conduct or approve a 2-day
24in-service training program for State Police officers in



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1job-related stress management and suicide prevention. The
2in-service training program shall train State Police officers
3to recognize signs of work-related cumulative stress and other
4related issues that may lead to suicide and offer appropriate
5solutions for intervention. This in-service training program
6shall be completed every 2 years by each State Police officer.
7The Department shall establish the training program on or
8before January 1, 2020.
9    Section 115. The Illinois Police Training Act is amended by
10changing Section 7 and by adding Section 10.17-2 as follows:
11    (50 ILCS 705/7)  (from Ch. 85, par. 507)
12    Sec. 7. Rules and standards for schools. The Board shall
13adopt rules and minimum standards for such schools which shall
14include, but not be limited to, the following:
15        a. The curriculum for probationary police officers
16    which shall be offered by all certified schools shall
17    include, but not be limited to, courses of procedural
18    justice, arrest and use and control tactics, search and
19    seizure, including temporary questioning, civil rights,
20    human rights, human relations, cultural competency,
21    including implicit bias and racial and ethnic sensitivity,
22    criminal law, law of criminal procedure, constitutional
23    and proper use of law enforcement authority, vehicle and
24    traffic law including uniform and non-discriminatory



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1    enforcement of the Illinois Vehicle Code, traffic control
2    and accident investigation, techniques of obtaining
3    physical evidence, court testimonies, statements, reports,
4    firearms training, training in the use of electronic
5    control devices, including the psychological and
6    physiological effects of the use of those devices on
7    humans, first-aid (including cardiopulmonary
8    resuscitation), training in the administration of opioid
9    antagonists as defined in paragraph (1) of subsection (e)
10    of Section 5-23 of the Substance Use Disorder Act, handling
11    of juvenile offenders, recognition of mental conditions
12    and crises, including, but not limited to, the disease of
13    addiction, which require immediate assistance and response
14    and methods to safeguard and provide assistance to a person
15    in need of mental treatment, recognition of abuse, neglect,
16    financial exploitation, and self-neglect of adults with
17    disabilities and older adults, as defined in Section 2 of
18    the Adult Protective Services Act, crimes against the
19    elderly, law of evidence, the hazards of high-speed police
20    vehicle chases with an emphasis on alternatives to the
21    high-speed chase, and physical training. The curriculum
22    shall include specific training in techniques for
23    immediate response to and investigation of cases of
24    domestic violence and of sexual assault of adults and
25    children, including cultural perceptions and common myths
26    of sexual assault and sexual abuse as well as interview



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1    techniques that are age sensitive and are trauma informed,
2    victim centered, and victim sensitive. The curriculum
3    shall include training in techniques designed to promote
4    effective communication at the initial contact with crime
5    victims and ways to comprehensively explain to victims and
6    witnesses their rights under the Rights of Crime Victims
7    and Witnesses Act and the Crime Victims Compensation Act.
8    The curriculum shall also include training in effective
9    recognition of and responses to stress, trauma, and
10    post-traumatic stress experienced by police officers. The
11    curriculum shall also include a block of instruction aimed
12    at identifying and interacting with persons with autism and
13    other developmental or physical disabilities, reducing
14    barriers to reporting crimes against persons with autism,
15    and addressing the unique challenges presented by cases
16    involving victims or witnesses with autism and other
17    developmental disabilities. The curriculum for permanent
18    police officers shall include, but not be limited to: (1)
19    refresher and in-service training in any of the courses
20    listed above in this subparagraph, (2) advanced courses in
21    any of the subjects listed above in this subparagraph, (3)
22    training for supervisory personnel, and (4) specialized
23    training in subjects and fields to be selected by the
24    board. The training in the use of electronic control
25    devices shall be conducted for probationary police
26    officers, including University police officers.



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1        b. Minimum courses of study, attendance requirements
2    and equipment requirements.
3        c. Minimum requirements for instructors.
4        d. Minimum basic training requirements, which a
5    probationary police officer must satisfactorily complete
6    before being eligible for permanent employment as a local
7    law enforcement officer for a participating local
8    governmental agency. Those requirements shall include
9    training in first aid (including cardiopulmonary
10    resuscitation).
11        e. Minimum basic training requirements, which a
12    probationary county corrections officer must
13    satisfactorily complete before being eligible for
14    permanent employment as a county corrections officer for a
15    participating local governmental agency.
16        f. Minimum basic training requirements which a
17    probationary court security officer must satisfactorily
18    complete before being eligible for permanent employment as
19    a court security officer for a participating local
20    governmental agency. The Board shall establish those
21    training requirements which it considers appropriate for
22    court security officers and shall certify schools to
23    conduct that training.
24        A person hired to serve as a court security officer
25    must obtain from the Board a certificate (i) attesting to
26    his or her successful completion of the training course;



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1    (ii) attesting to his or her satisfactory completion of a
2    training program of similar content and number of hours
3    that has been found acceptable by the Board under the
4    provisions of this Act; or (iii) attesting to the Board's
5    determination that the training course is unnecessary
6    because of the person's extensive prior law enforcement
7    experience.
8        Individuals who currently serve as court security
9    officers shall be deemed qualified to continue to serve in
10    that capacity so long as they are certified as provided by
11    this Act within 24 months of June 1, 1997 (the effective
12    date of Public Act 89-685). Failure to be so certified,
13    absent a waiver from the Board, shall cause the officer to
14    forfeit his or her position.
15        All individuals hired as court security officers on or
16    after June 1, 1997 (the effective date of Public Act
17    89-685) shall be certified within 12 months of the date of
18    their hire, unless a waiver has been obtained by the Board,
19    or they shall forfeit their positions.
20        The Sheriff's Merit Commission, if one exists, or the
21    Sheriff's Office if there is no Sheriff's Merit Commission,
22    shall maintain a list of all individuals who have filed
23    applications to become court security officers and who meet
24    the eligibility requirements established under this Act.
25    Either the Sheriff's Merit Commission, or the Sheriff's
26    Office if no Sheriff's Merit Commission exists, shall



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1    establish a schedule of reasonable intervals for
2    verification of the applicants' qualifications under this
3    Act and as established by the Board.
4        g. Minimum in-service training requirements, which a
5    police officer must satisfactorily complete every 3 years.
6    Those requirements shall include constitutional and proper
7    use of law enforcement authority, procedural justice,
8    civil rights, human rights, mental health awareness and
9    response, officer wellness, and cultural competency.
10        h. Minimum in-service training requirements, which a
11    police officer must satisfactorily complete at least
12    annually. Those requirements shall include law updates and
13    use of force training which shall include scenario based
14    training, or similar training approved by the Board.
15(Source: P.A. 99-352, eff. 1-1-16; 99-480, eff. 9-9-15; 99-642,
16eff. 7-28-16; 99-801, eff. 1-1-17; 100-121, eff. 1-1-18;
17100-247, eff. 1-1-18; 100-759, eff. 1-1-19; 100-863, eff.
188-14-18; 100-910, eff. 1-1-19; revised 9-28-19.)
19    (50 ILCS 705/10.17-2 new)
20    Sec. 10.17-2. Training; suicide prevention. The Board, in
21consultation with a statewide association that represents
22public pension funds under Article 3 and Article 4 of the
23Illinois Pension Code, shall conduct or approve an in-service
24training program for law enforcement officers in job-related
25stress management and suicide prevention. The in-service



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1training program shall train law enforcement officers of local
2government agencies to recognize signs of work-related
3cumulative stress and other related issues that may lead to
4suicide and offer appropriate solutions for intervention. This
5in-service training program shall be completed every 3 years by
6each local law enforcement officer. The Board shall establish
7the training program on or before January 1, 2020.
8    Section 999. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
9becoming law.".