Illinois CPOs would have less access to private land under new legislation
New legislation currently sitting in the Rules Committee would limit the power of DNR Conservation Police Officers and place restrictions on them that are more similar to other law enforcement officers in the state.
Filed Feb. 14 by State rep. Jim Durkin, R-Burr Ridge, House Bill 5894 proposes to amend the Wildlife Code and provides that "no employee of the Department [DNR] shall enter any private land, question an individual, or make any examinations without probable cause, a valid warrant, or permission."
State law now allows CPOs to have access to "all lands and waters" to enforce the Wildlife Code.
State Rep. Dennis Reboletti, a Republican from Elmhurst, told Public Radio station WUIS in Springfield that other type of police officers face stricter limits.
"If a state trooper wanted to go into your backyard to investigate what he thought something might be happening, he wouldn’t be able to do that unless he had probable cause, a warrant, or your permission," Reboletti told WUIS. "A conservation police officer could go there without your permission, without your knowledge, to investigate whatever they might be investigating."
A handful of lawmakers have joined on as co-sponsors.