Illinois State Police Recognizes Officers Involved with Reducing Violence on Chicago Area Expressways
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Expressway shootings down 42%, injury shootings down 45%, homicides down 83%

October 2022 marks the one-year anniversary of the Illinois State Police’s (ISP) push to reverse the increase in violence on Chicago area expressways.  To recognize the ISP officers from across the state deployed to work in Cook County, District Chicago officers, as well as the Division of Criminal Investigation special agents, telecommunicators, air operations, crime scene investigators, those in forensic services, radio technicians, and everyone involved in supporting this mission, ISP is awarding these dedicated men and women the Violent Crime Expressway Ribbon.

“One year later, our extraordinary Illinois State Police officers have successfully reduced Chicago area expressway shootings by more than 40% and expressway homicides by more than 80%,” said Governor JB Pritzker.  “These accomplishments are a testament to the hard work that our officers put in day in and day out to keep our communities safe.  To the 968 recipients of the Violent Crime Expressway Ribbon and the Department Unit Citation Achievement Medal: congratulations and thank you for your service to the great State of Illinois.”

The 968 recipients of the Violent Crime Expressway Ribbon and the Department Unit Citation Achievement Medal are recognized for their commitment to combatting violent crime along Chicago area expressways.

“It is the troopers, special agents, telecommunicators, forensic scientists, and all ISP employees that make this agency one of the best law enforcement agencies in the country,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly.  “To combat the rise in Chicago area expressway violence, we dedicated greater resources, increasing the number of automated license plate readers, but ultimately it is the people making a difference.  I am proud of everyone involved in this mission and ISP will continue to do everything we can to reduce violence and increase safety on our expressways.”

The total number of Chicago area expressway shootings is down 42% compared to this time last year.  The number of non-fatal injury expressway shooting in the Chicago area is down 45% and the number of expressway homicides is down 83% compared to this time last year.

ISP Statewide Anti-Violence Enforcement (SAVE) unit, Chicago Anti-Violence Detail, and District Chicago Patrol statistics for January 1–October 15, 2022 compared to January 1–October 15, 2021.

Date Shootings Injuries Deaths Traffic Stops Criminal Arrests Guns Seized Recovered Vehicles
Jan 1 – Oct 15, 2022 114 51 3 24,351 1,197 282 457
Jan 1 – Oct 15, 2021 197 93 18 14,999 477 162 136

ISP continues to take a multifaceted approach to reduce violent crime.

  1. Increased ISP presence – Chicago Anti-Violence Detail
  2. Focused, strategic violent crime reduction missions.  Proactive enforcement – SAVE Unit
  3. Multiple jurisdiction collaboration
  4. Unified Command – Multiple ISP divisions focused on expressway violence
  5. Technology – ALPRs, air operations

Chicago Anti-Violence Detail.  ISP created the Chicago Anti-Violence Detail on October 1, 2021. The ISP Division of Patrol has consistently mobilized up to 110 additional Illinois State troopers per month in Cook County.  The Anti-Violence Detail provides greater police presence and visibility along key expressways, while also assisting District Chicago troopers with handling a large number of calls.  This frees up troopers to conduct proactive and targeted missions.  The increased presence has shown reductions in shooting-related incidents while deployed.

SAVE – Statewide Anti-Violence Enforcement. ISP created the SAVE unit on February 16, 2022 – a team made up of selected troopers armed with the strategic mission of crime interdiction. SAVE unit members perform focused-based policing in problem areas by way of intense saturation using intelligence, existing technology, and leveraging ties with various local, state, and federal agencies to “laser” focus on violent criminals.

Multiple jurisdiction collaboration.  ISP coordinates crime enforcement details with other law enforcement partners with the mission to intercept violent crime, illegal guns, and contraband flow into Cook County.

 

Unified Command.  ISP established a unified command for quicker decision making and increased communication.   Multiple ISP divisions are working with a singular focus to enhance effectiveness and increase safety.  For example – air operations is used to pinpoint and surveil key suspect vehicles vs. dangerous pursuits, and investigations is working directly with the SAVE unit for more immediate access to crime scene services and laboratory analysis.

 

Technology.  ISP is using technology, such as ALPRs and air operations, to significantly impacted more precise criminal apprehensions.

In addition to patrol and criminal investigation details to target expressway shooting, ISP is also strengthening forensic services and building new laboratories to process evidence, as well as recruiting 300 new troopers to join the ranks.

Video of the ceremony can be found later today, October 20, 2022, at https://cms.illinois.gov/agency/media/video/videos.html.