SPRINGFIELD – In 2023, the Illinois State Police’s (ISP) modernization of the Divisions of Patrol, the creation of Special Operation Groups focused on criminal interdiction, and the continued implementation of a data-focused command structure led to a decrease in interstate shootings and fatal crashes. These same enforcement strategies also yielded more arrests, as well as increases in gun and vehicle recoveries.

“ISP saw a growing problem in Illinois, used data and first-hand expertise to efficiently address problems, and achieved results—the absolute model of what state government can and should do for its citizens,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “The decrease in fatal expressway shootings and crashes is an important step on the road to a safer Illinois, and I thank ISP for their innovation and dedication to advancing this work.”

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“As an agency, we’ve become more nimble and focused on data, making decisions based on where the greatest threats to public safety emerge, rather than following the same old pattern or habits,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “Over the past several years, we have really demanded more of ourselves, making the tough decisions, executing, and empowering the most effective law enforcement tool there is – the well-trained, professional, crime-fighting trooper. Challenges remain, but we are headed in a good direction.”

2023-2022 Patrol Enforcement Data:

  • Interstate/expressway shootings: In 2023, ISP saw a 32% decrease in reported interstate/expressway shootings from2022.
  • Fatal Crashes: In 2023, ISP responded to 7% fewer fatal crashes on interstates than in 2022.
  • Arrests: In 2023, ISP saw a 3% increase in patrol arrests from 2022 (6,543 arrests in 2023).
  • Guns Recovered: In 2023, ISP patrol reported a 12% increase in guns recovered from 2022.
  • Vehicles Recovered: In 2023, ISP patrol saw a 7% increase in vehicles recovered from 2022.

Additionally, ISP patrol seized more than $4.5 million in illicit criminal currency and more than 10,000 pounds of illegal drugs in 2023.

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On January 1, 2023, ISP evolved from 21 patrol Districts across the state to 11 patrol Troops. Moving to Troops enabled more officers to be available to respond to calls for service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. This modernized patrol structure reflects the best practices of peer states, increased command accountability, allowed for shifts that support officer wellness, and helped ISP put officers where they are needed most in order to reduce interstate shootings and crashes, and seize illegal drugs and guns.

ISP also established Special Operations Groups (SOGs) in 2023. Officers assigned to SOGs are focused on reducing violent crime, intercepting those trafficking in illegal guns and drugs before they reach Illinois communities, and reducing crashes on Illinois highways. The SOGs consist of Statewide Anti-Violence Enforcement (SAVE) units, Highway Interdiction Teams (HIT), and Fatal 4 Teams.

Implementing regional Unified Command structures has allowed ISP Divisions to operate in concert to strategically combat crime on multiple, specialized fronts, including work performed by investigative agents and forensic services, which led to additional arrests.

ISP continues to increase its use of technology, which directly impacts our ability to target and track criminal activity. Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) capture a visual of vehicle license plates and anytime a wanted or suspected vehicle is detected by an ALPR, an alert is issued and law enforcement are better able to locate and track the vehicle. In 2021, ISP installed approximately 100 ALPRs along I-94. By the end of 2022, 289 ALPRs were installed in the Chicago area. In 2023, ISP installed 139 additional ALPRs; 78 cameras in St. Clair County, four in Champaign County, four in Morgan County, and 53 cameras in Cook County. In 2024, ISP plans instillations in Macon, Madison, Peoria, Bureau, Lake, and Winnebago counties, with additional cameras potentially in Boone, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Henry, Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, McHenry, Rock Island, Sangamon, and Will counties, and Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.?

ISP’s Air Operations unit remains an instrumental part in safely increasing arrests . Air Operations help make pursuits safer by allowing units on the ground to terminate high speed pursuits while Air Operations continues tracking the fleeing vehicles from the air. This allows units on the ground to pre-position themselves to stop the vehicle. During 2023, ISP Air Operations missions in Chicago directly resulted in 169 arrests, including seven homicide, 29 carjacking, and 11 armed robbery arrests, as well as 133 vehicles and 70 weapons recovered.

ISP’s crime fighting strategies will continue to evolve as crime evolves and we are committed to reducing shootings and fatalities, and getting illegal guns and drugs off the streets.

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