Proposal: Police Could Obtain Warrants Using Video Chat


A proposal in the state legislature would allow police and judges to talk over an online video chat, like Skype.

Currently, most warrants have to be obtained in person.

John Carroll is an assistant state’s attorney in Cook County. He said getting a warrant can take more time when a judge has to hear testimony from a witness.

"Typically in narcotics, you will meet a judge in a third location," Carroll said. "You wouldn’t bring your John Doe witness to the judge’s home.”

Carroll also said it can be a problem when judges are out of town.

Instead of trying to contact another one, Carroll said meeting over the Internet would speed up the process and save police time.

State Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon), who is sponsoring the measure, said it is important for law enforcement to keep pace with technological advances.

"The other side, the criminal community, is using technology to speed up their endeavors. Law enforcement needs to do the same thing,” Righter said.

Police would still be limited to seeking warrants from judges in their jurisdiction.

Story source: Illinois Public Radio