Illinois expressway shootings down this year amid increased state police enforcement

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state police
A state police vehicle seen in Lansing in 2021. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Expressway shootings down 36%, injury shootings down 46%

Information provided by the Illinois State Police

CHICAGO, Ill. (July 24, 2022) – At the midway mark for 2022, the Illinois State Police (ISP) is reporting the total number of Chicago area expressway shootings is down 36% compared to this time last year. The number of non-fatal injury expressway shooting in the Chicago area is down 46% and the number of expressway homicides has decreased from 10 to one compared to this time last year.

By the numbers

The chart below shows Illinois State Police Statewide Anti-Violence Enforcement (SAVE) unit, Chicago Anti-Violence Detail, and District Chicago Patrol statistics for January 1 – July 21, 2022 compared to January 1 – July 21, 2021.

Date January 1 – July 1, 2022
January 1 – July 1, 2021
Shootings 84 132
Injuries 38 70
Deaths 1 10
Traffic Stops 14,306 9,919
Arrests 319 288
Guns Seized 199 110
Recovered Vehicles 262 89

 

“The Illinois State Police is committing numerous resources to combat what was a rising number of expressway shootings in the Chicago area,” said Illinois State Police Director Brendan F. Kelly. “Since increasing the presence of ISP troopers, the use of automated license plate readers, the creation and deployment of specialty anti-violence units, and the use of air operations, the number of Chicagoland expressway shootings for the first half of 2022 decreased by more than a third and arrests have increased. ISP is committed to using every tool in its toolbox to help keep people safe on Illinois expressways.”

Strategies used to reduce violent crime

Chicago Anti-Violence Detail

ISP created the Chicago Anti-Violence Detail on October 1, 2021. The ISP Division of Patrol DOP has consistently mobilized up to 110 additional Illinois State Troopers per month in Cook County. These anti-violence details provide 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.

Statewide Anti-Violence Enforcement (SAVE)

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 are 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 automated license plate readers and air operations, to significantly impact 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.

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