Jesiel Bill to Strengthen Domestic Violence Police Training Now Law

Springfield, IL… A new law from State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) will help to ensure that all officers are prepared to properly answer a domestic violence call. The crafting of House Bill 5538 was inspired by the research and personal experience of a domestic violence survivor in Rep. Jesiel’s district. 

“This bill will help to ensure that police are able to handle the delicate situation of domestic violence cases with the care and insight they need,” Rep. Jesiel said. “The goal of this legislation that enhances officer preparedness is to prevent the further victimization of those who have been abused.”

Current law mandates training in domestic violence for new recruits, but this training is minimal and does not require continuing education or more in depth training for law enforcement on the subject. HB 5588 requires law enforcement agencies to educate recruits and officers every five years with a particular focus on the psychology of abusive relationships, looking beyond the physical evidence and evaluating competing claims from both parties.

“It’s important that officers know more than just the procedural steps of what to do so they can effectively evaluate and respond to these sensitive calls,” Rep. Jesiel continued. “Officers and victims alike will benefit from a better understanding of the psychology of an abusive relationship so they can analyze things that may be going on behind what can be carefully crafted facades.”

The bipartisan bill passed both chambers unanimously and Governor Rauner signed the bill over the weekend during First Responders Day at the state fair.