Fatal crashes on interstates and expressways in Illinois fell by 7 percent in 2023 compared to the previous year, and shootings were down more than 30 percent.
Illinois State Police report the declines came at the same time troopers were beefing up their enforcement on the state’s transportation arteries. Arrests were up 3 percent, gun recoveries up 12 percent, and vehicle recoveries were up 7 percent.
“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,” ISP Director Brendan Kelly said in a news release. “Challenges remain, but we are headed in a good direction.”
ISP also confiscated more than 10,000 pounds of illegal drugs, and $4.5 million in what they call “illicit criminal currency.”
Technology also plays a large role in enforcement efforts, and ISP plans to install additional license plate readers – cameras which can identify license plates on vehicles that are wanted or suspected in crimes. Those automated readers can send alerts to law enforcement when a plate is recognized.
In 2023, ISP added 139 automated license plate readers to state roads, including 78 cameras in St. Clair County, four in Champaign County, four in Morgan County, and 53 cameras in Cook County. Those were added to an existing 289 cameras in the Chicago area. ISP plans to add cameras in Macon, Madison, Peoria, Bureau, Lake, and Winnebago counties in 2024.