Vehicles travel northbound and southbound on the Kennedy Express. Illinois State Police officials responded to the large number of expressway shootings in 2021 by investing in license plate readers, hiring troopers and adding air operations.
Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times
Gun violence on Chicago-area expressways declined in 2022 compared to the prior year, according to the Illinois State Police.
Three people were killed in expressway shootings last year across the city compared to the 24 who died in 2021.
Non-fatal shootings dropped from 119 to 60, and the number of shootings reported on expressways fell almost by half from 264 to 140.
Meanwhile, traffic stops on Chicago expressways nearly doubled — from around 14,000 to almost 26,000 in the last two years — but it led to roughly the same amount of arrests each year, at slightly more than 1,500.
The more traffic stops, however, resulted in state police seizing 342 guns, which was 145 more than the 197 recovered in 2021.
Stolen vehicle recoveries soared over the preceding year by more than 230%. State police retrieved 615 stolen vehicles in 2022, compared with about 180 recovered in 2021.
Illinois State Police officials say the encouraging statistics are mostly due to the department’s increased investment in technology — highlighted by automated license plate readers — and its emphasis on enforcement.
“After an unprecedented number of expressway shootings in the Chicago area in 2021, the Illinois State Police mobilized resources agency-wide, including troopers, Air Operations, forensic services and criminal investigation special agents,” ISP Director Brendan Kelly said in a statement.