The FOP buys influence in Springfield. Dollars to Madigan.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

A legislator in the Illinois General Assembly told me that moving police reform in that chamber can be problematic.

At least it has been in the past.

Maybe things have changed.

But this legislator admitted that reform has been shot down by what he called law enforcement friendly Republicans and Democrats in Springfield.

The Belleview News Democrat explains the friendliness.

Police groups have invested heavily to make sure key lawmakers stay sympathetic. Nearly annually for decades, Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan has received thousands in campaign contributions from the Policemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, the Illinois Police Association and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.

Readers know that I have been pushing for the Illinois legislature to pass as one reform removing from the scope of bargaining contract language that shields cops who engage in criminal acts from prosecution.

Organized Labor at all levels has pretty much stayed away from this proposal and still treats the Fraternal Order of Police as part of the Labor Movement.

Meanwhile there is some discussion among members of the legislatures Black Caucus.

Their ideas include:

  • Licensing for police officers

  • A ban on no-knock warrants

  • Special prosecutors to police misconduct cases to eliminate potential local bias

  • Mandatory body cameras for police statewide

  • More implicit bias training

  • ”Duty to intervene” legislation


A letter sent out by the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police demonstrates that they are concerned about the growing demands to defund and reform police. So, the IFOP makes it clear that they will use their influence to block any reforms, even these small ones.

5 thoughts on “The FOP buys influence in Springfield. Dollars to Madigan.

  1. that isn’t what the ILFOP said in its letter. I’ve heard of putting a spin on things… but your spin is so far fetched it gives fake news a good name. Sad that people have to read such untruthful garbage.

  2. Our letter speaks for itself. We don’t need you to say something it doesn’t. Read it again and tell me how you can come to the conclusion that “the IFOP makes it clear that they will use their influence to block any reforms, even these small ones.”

  3. Chris, the letter mostly mumbles when it comes to reform, the main exception being the police reform act of 2015 which, the letter implies, the FOP had a hand in negotiating. Is that true? I ask because I do not know and because the FOP’s public behavior suggests to me (at least) that they had to be dragged to the discussion and mostly kicked and screamed while there.

    Beyond that, the letter is directed at FOP members, and it mostly is intended to be reassuring to them. If I were a cop, it’s hard to say what I would think of the letter. As a citizen, it moves me to think the FOP leadership is well and truly oblivious of everything but how to work their membership. Most of the union statements directed at the public sound no different, are every bit as defensive, as this internal propaganda. And say, whatever became of community policing?

    The most sympathetic scenario that this suggests to me is: Knowing the membership makes any public acknowledgement of the need for reform difficult. I’m inclined to doubt this, but as I am a knee-jerk union supporter, I’d be happy to hear otherwise.

    Reform or die, that is this citizen’s advice to the FOP. It’s free advice so you can take it for what it’s worth.

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