Bloomington Police

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

A solid majority on the Bloomington City Council favors creating a citizen review board for police complaints.

There's less certainty about one provision community groups are pushing. Alderman Joni Painter said during a council work session it is an absolute no go for her.

Judith Valente / WGLT

Bloomington police, community groups and the City Council have hammered out a draft ordinance for a new citizen-led police oversight board.

Squad car with lights flashing blocking entrance to the 500 block of north Center in downtown Bloomington.
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

It's been six months since the city of Bloomington came up with a plan to address safety concerns for bar patrons and police officers trying to handle as many as 1,600 people pouring into the streets on busy weekends.  The solution appears to be having the desired effect but so far, it comes with a price tag of $80,000 because police officers used for the additional downtown detail are considered "hire backs," and not part of the regular schedule, therefore they are paid time-and-a-half.

Bloomington Police Department

The man accused of stabbing a Peoria woman to death in a Bloomington motel last month now faces new charges.

Police say 32-year old Kyle Brestan was arrested again at the McLean County Jail on seven counts of the manufacture and possession of child pornography.

Tony Webster / Wikimedia Commons

Another shooting in Bloomington, and another leg wound. Police don't believe the wound locations in each of the four shootings since April 28th is significant. 

Lincoln, NE Police Department

Community groups in the Twin Cities are advocating for a citizen-led review board to monitor and weigh in on the actions of the Bloomington Police Department.  Bloomington Police Chief Brendan Heffner has resisted the call, saying citizens don't understand the intricacies of police work.

But there are many citizen led review boards across the country, including in Illinois. Perhaps the oldest is in Lincoln, Nebraska. That state's capital city with a population of just over 270,000 has had some aspect of a citizen led police advisory board since the 1970's.

Bloomington Police Department

Bloomington police have made an arrest in the murder case of a Peoria woman in a motel on Brock Drive.

Officers had previously labeled the death of 27-year old Shannon Hastings suspicious.

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington Police are investigating a suspicious death of a woman at a motel.

According to a news release, Bloomington Police and Bloomington Fire Rescue responded to a motel room in the 400 block of Brock Drive for an unresponsive person Sunday afternoon at about 12:26.

Bloomington Police

Bloomington Police have arrested four people in connection with alleged prostitution in the 800 Block of I-A-A Drive.

Bloomington Police Department

Bloomington police said they want to look at a next generation body camera product because the first one under review doesn't have enough battery life.

Cameras are supposed to have eight hours of recording time. But, some batteries are lasting only three hours. Chief Brendan Heffner said the law is ambiguous because it's not clear whether ten hours refers to recording capacity or battery life.

Sergeant Clayton Arnold is overseeing the pilot project of 12 officers using body cams. Sergeant Arnold said there are procedural hurdles to clear as well, such as deciding how much time to allocate for report writing with access to body camera footage.

Bloomington Police Department

Bloomington Police said they have arrested the man they believe is responsible for a shooting on Main Street last weekend.

The department said its Vice, Street Crime, K-9, Patrol, and Criminal Investigation units combined in a lengthy foot chase to catch 28-year old Fredd (correct spelling) Mitchell.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

A citizen review board for police will not be a slam dunk in Bloomington, if early council discussion is a guide.

Several Aldermen said they wanted to learn more about the options during a work session on the issue. A couple want to move ahead and have staff draft an ordinance. Alderman David Sage said he sees no case for the panel.

Bloomington Police Department

There have been three shootings in Bloomington in three weeks and all three resulted in leg wounds. Police say they don't feel there are any correlations.

The latest incident was early Sunday morning in the 600 block of North Main.

Colleen Reynolds / GLT News

A new report on inequality in Bloomington-Normal shows that poor and minority residents live in neighborhoods that have more noise and air pollution, less quality housing, fewer places to buy fresh, healthy food, and less transportation opportunities.

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington police say someone shot a teenager near Miller Park early Thursday morning.

That is the second shooting in the last week.

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington Police say they have made no arrests yet in connection with a shooting on Springfield Road.

The gunfire happened about nine o'clock Thursday evening in a parking lot of the 1700 block of Springfield Road.

Bloomington Police Department

It has been four years since Bloomington resident Haleigh Eichhorn disappeared.

Her body was found in rural Stanford on May 7, 2013 ten days after she was last seen.

Christian Jaramillo / WGLT

The advocacy group Black Lives Matter BloNo has been asking the Bloomington Police Department to adopt "Community Policing" rather than what it characterizes as a "Broken Windows" approach to policing. Broken Windows theory argues that focusing on small crimes such as vandalism and toll-jumping helps create an atmosphere of order and lawfulness, which leads to less serious crimes being committed.
 

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington Police said a woman whose home was broken into shot the intruder.

The incident happened about 1:32 a.m. Friday. Officers say a home alarm went off from the garage in the 700 block of South Clayton.

Jon Norton / WGLT

Dr. Cara Rabe-Hemp of Illinois State University's Department of Criminal Justice said there is little debate about what constitutes "community policing." The general idea is that citizens take an active role in co-producing crime control with law enforcement. How police have transferred that philosophy into strategies and tactics is where the debate continues. 

GLT News

At a public forum last December sponsored by Black Lives Matter, several residents of the Bloomington's west side complained that their neighborhood is under a police microscope, with officers making unfair stops and arrests.

Bloomington Police Chief Brendan Heffner says  he sends additional patrols to areas of the city that have a higher rate of incidents. 

The practice is a  common one known as "hot spot policing."  It is used by departments across America in cities both large and small to address high crime areas. But does hot spot policing work?

Flickr

There's and old joke that goes like this: a prison guard asks an inmate what he's in for. "Talking," the inmate replies.

Law Professor James Duane says it's no laughing matter.  He's the author of the book "You Have The Right To Remain Innocent" and is featured in a video titled "Don't Talk to the Cops" that's garnered thousands of views on You Tube.

Duane says innocent people sometimes get convicted based on information they provide to police in an effort to be cooperative.

NPD / Facebook

A 35-year old Bloomington man has been arrested on child pornography charges.

Carthell Nibbelin was jailed after being picked up by police from both Normal and Bloomington. His arrest stems from a year-long investigation started by NPD.

Two young men and one is handcuffing another
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

Following a year that saw increased tensions in Bloomington-Normal between police and minorities, an event designed to help community members experience what police officers encounter every day did not appear to attract any more interest than past years. But, the third annual Behind the Badge event at Horton Field House at Illinois State University seemed to leave a lasting impression for those who attended.  The event was sponsored by police agencies, Illinois State University and the Minority and Police Partnership (MAPP).

Staff / WGLT

Police in Bloomington say they apprehended someone in that shots fired incident last week at Market and Howard streets.

A 15-year old boy is now in the juvenile detention center.

Bloomington Police Dept.

Bloomington Police say they arrested a man shortly after an armed robbery at a West Market Street gas station. The stickup happened about 6:06 a.m. Tuesday.

Woman with mic in red Black Lives Matter shirt
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

Two key members of the Minority and Police Partnership are reacting differently to Bloomington police pedestrian stop data analyzed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Illinois Wesleyan University Professor Julie Prandi.

Black Lives Matter

Note: This post has been revised to reflect new developments.

The mother of a 10-year-old boy who was handcuffed by Bloomington police and photographed in an image that went viral on social media last week is speaking out about the incident.

Anntionnetta Simmons said her son suffers from attention deficit disorder. He was charged last week in West Bloomington with disorderly conduct. His mother said the charge is the result of a misunderstanding.

Bloomington Police Department

Bloomington Police say a sexually violent person has cut off his home monitoring ankle bracelet and disappeared.

Wanted for escape is David Hermosillo. He is 50 years old and had been living on West MacArthur Street in Bloomington.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

Armed robberies and shootings were up in Bloomington last year, but most major crime categories were down.

Police Chief Brendan Heffner said that's according to the annual crime report.

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