CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois State Police vow to be out in force over the holidays, despite a decline in their numbers and the number of tickets they have been writing.
The State Journal Register said the agency has seen a 20 percent drop in troopers since 2009 and they have issued about half the number of speeding tickets this year as they did in 2010.
Captain David Byrd said they have planned for this and will have enough to beef up patrols over the holidays. WBBM’s Nancy Harty reports.
“We planned for this ahead of time,” Byrd said. “So we do have a lot of officers working outside their regular patrol duties. We have administrative personnel who work inside, they are also on the street during this time.”
They will be looking for drivers who are drunk, distracted or speeding, especially between the hours of 8 p.m. and 4 a.m.
Byrd said the enforcement period started already and runs through Jan 3rd.
There have been 1,034 fatalities on Illinois roads so far this year, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.
The agency’s law enforcement liaison Scott Kristiansen said that is the highest in 8 years.
He attributes it to a number of reasons, including low gas prices and people driving more miles.
Byrd does not have a specific answer, but acknowledges troopers have seen a spike in expressway shootings, which have drained resources.
There have been at least 47 shootings on Chicago expressways so far this year.