- Associated Press - Monday, August 10, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - An increase in the number of gang-related shootings on or near Chicago-area expressways has prompted Illinois State Police to launch periodic efforts to flood the city’s highways with law enforcement officials.

In the past two years, one person has died and nearly two dozen have been wounded in shootings on area expressways, according to State Police.

The missions, called Operation Ryan’s Hope, involve State Police troopers and Cook County Sheriff’s police officers. They began in April 2014 on the Dan Ryan, due to an increase in shootings between 95th Street to Hubbard’s Cave, and have since been expanded to every one of the city’s expressways, the Chicago Sun-Times (https://bit.ly/1ThRPIg ) reported.

“The goal of the operation is to aggressively patrol the roadways to help ensure the safety of motorists and improve overall roadway safety with the focus on seat belts, distracted driving, speeding and driving under the influence,” Sgt. Clare Pfotenhauer, a spokeswoman for the State Police.

So far, eight 24-hour details have been conducted, with more than 25 law enforcement officials involved in each detail.



More than 1,750 citations have been issued during the past two years. In 2015, law enforcement officials have arrested 14 people on warrants, stopped two stolen vehicles and recovered three weapons, Pfotenhauer said.

But gun violence on the Chicago expressways continues to climb, and shooters often get away with the crime.

“If more witnesses came forward and gave information on what they see, this would help significantly in the investigations of these shootings,” Pfotenhauer said.

In April, three men were charged with first-degree murder in connection with a September 2012 shooting that killed Larry Porter, 25, as he was driving on the Dan Ryan. Porter was shot in the head and a passenger was wounded.

There have been 25 shootings on expressways so far this year, compared to 18 shootings last year and six in 2010.

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Information from: Chicago Sun-Times, https://chicago.suntimes.com/

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