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CHICAGO — Starting Friday, Illinois State Police will double presence on Chicago area expressways after nearly 200 shootings this year.

As of Thursday, there have been 185 expressway shootings in the Chicago District this year — compared to 83 at this time last year. There were 128 reported shootings total in 2020.

ISP will reallocate officers from around the state specifically to District Chicago to prevent roadway violence and provide the Chicago District maximum staffing in high violence shifts throughout each month.

The increased presence will begin in the evening and continue through the overnight hour shifts.

“For more than 30 years, patrol of Chicago area expressways has been a unique duty of this agency and in that time, we have not previously confronted the concentrated levels of gun violence we have faced in 2020 and 2021,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “We are a statewide agency with statewide missions and responsibilities, but we must dedicate the greatest resources to the greatest need, and right now the greatest need is here, on Chicago’s expressways.”

ISP is continuing its work to install license plate readers on Chicago expressways. There are currently more than 100 readers on Chicago area expressways, police said.

Between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, police investigated three separate expressway shootings in the area.

There were 52 reported expressway shootings on Cook County expressways in 2019, with 43 expressway shootings in 2018.