CPD, ISP to patrol expressways using planes over holiday weekend

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With expressway shootings up this year, the Chicago Police Department and Illinois State Police will be using airplanes to patrol the expressways. (WLS)

With expressway shootings up this year, the Chicago Police Department and Illinois State Police will be joining forces this holiday weekend. They will be using airplanes to patrol the expressways, and having investigators from both departments work together.

More and more bullets have been flying on Chicago expressways this year, often hitting innocent victims. Given that, Illinois State and Chicago police are addressing concerns ahead of the holiday weekend.

"I want everyone to know that they will be safe on the expressways - we will not tolerate shootings on the expressways," said Director Leo Schmitz, Illinois State Police.

Illinois State Police report there have been 20 expressway shootings so far this year. Last year, during the same time frame - January through May - there were 12.

Both sides agree most are gang-related, and start in Chicago neighborhoods. It's just one reason police will have thousands of officers on-duty this weekend, some of whom will target troubled neighborhoods. And police said that's a warning to would-be criminals.

"Your actions will not be tolerated and the full weight of CPD, Illinois State Police, and other law enforcement partners will work to hold you accountable," Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said.

In recent years, violence has spiked in Chicago during the holiday weekend. On Memorial Day weekend two years ago, 26 people were shot and 7 were murdered. Last year, the numbers doubled to 48 shootings and 14 murders.

So whether it's Chicago or violence on the expressways, authorities encourage witnesses to call them with detailed information.

"The eyes and ears - the people out on these expressways, good people - please call us, continue to call us, and it will help us get people and place them under arrest," Schmitz said.

So whether it's the Kennedy Expressway or any other expressway, there will be extra crews patrolling, covert cars and air support this weekend.

Related Topics:
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