State police launch ‘Operation Ryan’s Hope’ to curb expressway shootings

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CHICAGO --  Illinois State Police are stepping up efforts to curb the rise in expressway shootings throughout the Chicago area.

The number of incidents has quadrupled in the last five years.  Just two days after another shooting, this time along the Kennedy Expressway, state police have unveiled a plan to curb the gunfire on area roadways.

There will be increased patrols, which may or may not be noticed by the public.

"We will also utilize covert and undercover vehicles to quickly detect criminal activity and make arrests," State Police Captain David Byrd said today during a news conference at the Ohio Street Accident Investigation Site along the Kennedy Expressway.

There have been 26 expressway shootings so far this year, including Monday's incident on the outbound Kennedy that shut down the expressway for hours during the morning rush, as police searched for shell casings.

No one has been killed in any of the cases this year but 12 people have suffered injuries.

The state police effort is titled "Ryan's Hope" since it will focus on the Dan Ryan and Eisenhower Expressways, where the majority of shootings have happened.

Authorities say most cases are gang-related conflicts spilling over.

Getaways may be curbed with patrols being increased from about 20 to over 30 per shift.

State police say the target hours will be 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.