More police to patrol Chicago freeways as shootings increase

State News

A Chicago police officer wears a blue and black band on her badge as she walks into the Leighton Criminal Courthouse to attend the bond hearings for two brothers charged after the fatal shooting of Chicago Police Officer Ella French, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021 in Chicago. French, 29, was fatally shot and her partner was critically wounded in West Englewood while in the line of duty Saturday. (Ashlee Rezin /Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

CHICAGO (AP) — State police will add patrols to Chicago-area freeways with troopers from elsewhere in Illinois due to a rising number of shootings involving motorists.

The increased police presence starts Friday evening and will continue through overnight shifts, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday.

At least 185 attacks have occurred this year, compared to 128 in 2020.

“We have not previously confronted the concentrated levels of gun violence we have faced in 2020 and 2021,” said Brendan F. Kelly, state police director. “We must dedicate the greatest resources to the greatest need, and right now the greatest need is here, on Chicago’s expressways.”

Three separate shootings were reported on area expressways from Wednesday night into Thursday morning, according to the newspaper.

Sixteen people have been slain this year in freeway shootings, including two men fatally shot Tuesday on the Stevenson Expressway, WBBM-TV reported.

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