Cook County introduces new search warrant policy to protect residents from 'inappropriate intrusion'

The Cook County State's Attorney's Office announced a new policy Friday that is designed to increase accountability in requesting and executing search warrants.

Officials say the new guidance is expected to improve communication among law enforcement stakeholders and allow the state's attorney's office to better understand the accuracy of information provided by police and informants and protect residents from "inappropriate intrusion."

"The intrusion that search warrants legally authorize justifies greater disclosure and transparency to ensure that a search warrant is carried out on the correct individual and location," said State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. "Going forward to receive our signoff, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office will require law enforcement to submit to increased checks of the information provided to request search warrants and then disclose the outcome of the warrant. The new process will help us better understand if the evidence obtained justified using a search warrant." 

The new policy will require law enforcement to follow up on the outcome of the search warrant.

This includes determining whether it was signed by a judge and carried out by law enforcement.


If the warrant is carried out, law enforcement will be required to disclose any items seized or arrests made as a result of the warrant. 

If officers are not in compliance with this new policy within 45 days of the approval of the search warrant, they will be unable to have the state's attorney review additional search warrants submitted by the officer until the officer complies with police regarding the previous warrant, officials said.

Additionally, a new digital database has been created that follows search warrant requests throughout the process.

Officials say this will allow the state's attorney's office to better assess search warrants for probable cause and protect the integrity of cases and residents.

The Cook County State's Attorney's Office said it started the review of its search warrant policy in response to evidence of a search warrant location not being fully vetted, resulting in the wrong location being raided.   

The new guidance goes into effect Dec. 16.