Illinois Has a Trooper Shortage

Fewer troopers on road

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    NEWSLETTERS

    ISP
    There are fewer troopers on the road.

    Far be it for us to condone speeding, but now is a very good time to put the pedal to the metal on Chicago's expressways.

    Due to budget cuts, just 181 state troopers are on patrol these days.

    Those sound like very good odds!

    A decade ago, 227 troopers were on patrol - 20 percent more than today.

    "There are some lonely stretches of road out there and we're not going to deny that," Col. Michael Snyder told ABC7's Chuck Goudie. "We'd like to wave a wand and deploy an additional 50 or 100 troopers in Chicago and that's not reality in today's world."

    The reduction in force has meant a shift in trooper priorities, Goudie reports. Instead of general patrol, troopers are given specific assignments such as seat belt enforcement or saturating a particular area.

    "We're trying to put a high concentration of officers in one area to make it seem like there are more officers," Sgt. Angelo Mollo told Goudie.

    One piece of good news for troopers, though, is the arrival of new cars. The Illinois State Police is expecting 50 new cars by the end of the year and 325 next year.

    Now if they only had enough troopers to drive them all.

    Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.