EAST ST. LOUIS – The Illinois State Police (ISP) is increasing crime fighting resources in the Metro East and making communities safer. ISP formalized a Special Operations Group operating in the Metro East earlier this year consisting of the Statewide Anti-Violence Enforcement (SAVE) South Unit, a Highway Interdiction Team (HIT), and a Fatal 4 Team. Additionally, ISP Troop 8 has increased the presence of patrol to deter crime. These additional resources are building on the successes already achieved through the Public Safety Enforcement Group (PSEG), which is comprised of ISP and the East St. Louis Police Department, with assistance from federal law enforcement agencies.

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“ISP is dedicating additional resources to the Metro East – specialty units, increased officer presence, and technology – to reduce shootings and violent crimes in this area,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly.

The SAVE South Unit began operations on February 16, 2023 and is focusing on violent criminals through intense saturation patrols, as well as using intelligence, technology, and leveraging ties with various local, state, and federal agencies. The SAVE South Unit works closely with PSEG to conduct intelligence-based traffic stops in high crime areas in order to intercept violent crime.

SAVE South Data


Criminal Charges

Firearms Seized





February 16 – June 30, 2023

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The SAVE South Unit also works closely with Troop 8 to increase the police presence in high crime areas. While Troop 8 has a focus on intercepting violent crime, officers also target unsafe drivers, such as those exhibiting road rage. In the Metro East, road rage was reported in approximately half of the interstate shootings. The increased presence of ISP is aimed at preventing road rage incidents and interstate shootings.

Troop 8


Criminal Charges

Guns Seized





January 1 – June 30, 2023

An ISP HIT and Fatal 4 Team are additional resources working in the Metro East to increase safety. ISP has three HIT across the state – north, central, and south, and are focused on the interdiction of criminal activity traversing Illinois highways. Their mission is to make the roadways in Illinois safer by intercepting couriers of contraband such as narcotics and illegal firearms, as well as those engaged in human trafficking. The two Fatal 4 teams, one in central Illinois and another southern Illinois, focus on traffic enforcement of the Fatal 4 offenses that lead to personal injury and fatal crashes. Fatal 4 offenses include speeding, driving under the influence, occupant restraint, and distracted driving.

The culmination of these resources is already proving to be successful. From June 26-29, 2023, ISP conducted Operation Safe Summer. This operation utilized intelligence and technology to target known high crime areas, organized violent offenders, and structured criminal groups in Metro East Communities.

Operation Results

  • Subjects Arrested: 57
  • Total Criminal Charges: 108
  • Felony Charges: 64
  • Firearms Seized/Recovered: 25 (7 stolen firearms recovered)
  • Firearm Related Charges: 47
  • Cannabis Seized: 6,825 grams
  • Controlled Substance Seized: 57.6 grams
  • Stolen Vehicle Recovered: 1

ISP SAVE Units (South and North), the Central East Highway Interdiction Team, Fatal 4 South, Division of Patrol Troops 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10, ISP Air Operations, and PSEG all participated in the Operation, with additional support from the Firearms Investigations Unit and Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois.

The addition of these specialty teams and increased officer presence in the Metro East and southern Illinois will create safer communities.

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