CHICAGO - Illinois State Police are increasing preventive patrol presence by 157% during peak criminal activity times on Chicago area expressways starting Friday, Oct. 1.
ISP said the increased presence will begin in the evening and continue through the overnight hour shifts.
District Chicago is reporting a total of 185 expressway shootings so far in 2021.
By this time last year, there were 85 expressway shootings. In all of 2020, a total of 128 expressway shootings were reported.
ISP plans to reallocate officers from around the state to District Chicago to prevent roadway violence, and provide ISP Patrol District Chicago maximum staffing in high violence shifts throughout each month.
"For more than 30 years, patrol of Chicago area expressways has been a unique duty of this agency and in that time, we have not previously confronted the concentrated levels of gun violence we have faced in 2020 and 2021," said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. "We are a statewide agency with statewide missions and responsibilities, but we must dedicate the greatest resources to the greatest need, and right now the greatest need is here, on Chicago’s expressways."
ISP also continues to install License Plate Readers (LPRs) on Chicago expressways. Currently, ISP says there are more than 100 LPRs on Chicago area expressways and they expect that to increase in the coming weeks.
DCI Zone 1, which includes the Chicago area, will also be allocated additional special agents for investigations, ISP said.
Police continue to urge the public to contact ISP at (847) 294-4400 if they witness a shooting or have any information regarding a shooting.
Additionally, ISP encourages drivers to try and safely obtain a license plate of vehicles involved in criminal conduct when possible.