ISP District 11 History
The shadow of the St Louis Gateway Arch falls over the five counties of District 11. The ‘Metro-East” as it’s called, reflects the city of St Louis in many ways, yet with an Illinois style. Thousands of commuters cross the mighty Mississippi River over the collection of bridges for employment, industry, entertainment and shopping. Tasked with a variety of duties from gang patrols in the inner cities to maintaining the department’s image in a media market ranked 13th in the nation, to rural activities in the three counties just 30 miles west, District 11 covers it all. From the urban counties of St Clair and Madison to the rural counties of Clinton, Bond and Monroe District 11’s land covers 2,700 square miles and the region maintains 1,700 miles of state roads.
Taking the initiative, District 11 also effectively used the media to educate the public on a myriad of public safety issues. District 11’s media liaison officer presented safety issues on a local cable channel (Charter Communications) once a month called “COP TV.” Many local departments’ community policing projects were highlighted as well as Illinois State Police initiatives. COP TV addressed such issues as water safety, bike safety, winter driving, winter car maintenance, school safety and a host of others.
District 11 is laced by three major interstates and two interstate extensions which lead into St. Louis, Missouri, across three bridge complexes. In the early mornings and evenings, these highways and bridges are populated with aggressive drivers speeding to get to work or home at night. This driver is easy to spot by the motoring public, but not necessarily by a trooper in a marked patrol car.
After studying national trends, District 11 realized these dangerous habits mirrored the driving behaviors they saw everyday on the interstates that crisscross the Metro-East region. District staff devised an unconventional way of stopping these dangerous drivers. In 1998 District 11 rolled out the “Road Rage Team.” Troopers in Mustangs and Camaros focused on dangerous, aggressive drivers in District 11. In addition to traffic enforcement, patrolling troopers performed notably in interdicting drug shipments coming through their district.