Shootings on Chicago area expressways have more than doubled so far this year, and as a result Illinois State Police are looking to take additional measures, more than doubling their patrol presence on expressways during overnight hours.
According to a press release from ISP, state police will increasing their patrol presence by approximately 157% during what it calls “peak criminal activity times” on expressways.
That increased presence will take place during evenings and on overnight shifts.
“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,” ISP Director Brendan Kelly said in a statement.
Get Chicago local news, weather forecasts, sports and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Chicago newsletters.
Troopers will be relocated from around the state to District Chicago to help with staffing, according to the press release.
Illinois State Police say that there have been 185 reported shootings on Chicago expressways so far in 2021, up from 128 that occurred in all of 2020.
One of those shootings took place on the Stevenson Expressway late Tuesday night. Police say that two people were killed in the shooting, which occurred in the southbound lanes near Wentworth Avenue in the city’s Chinatown neighborhood.
In addition to the newly-allocated troopers, ISP is continuing to work on installing License Plate Readers on area expressways, which they say will help them identify cars that are involved in shooting incidents.