SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Illinois State Police has reorganized to provide 24/7 coverage of all 102 Illinois counties. They also plan to introduce new license plates on March 1 to celebrate the formation of Troops.

ISP moved from 21 patrol Districts across the state to 11 patrol Troops on Jan. 1, enabling more officers to be available 24/7 all year long to respond to calls for service. ISP said this change will allow them to better meet public needs while combating a law enforcement officer shortage seen across the country.

“This modernization enables ISP officers to more efficiently engage in areas of greatest need, with high crash or crime rates, and drug trafficking,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “This model also puts ISP patrol on equal footing with other state patrols based on crime, population, and crash data analysis, rather than outdated habits or practices.”

Courtesy: Illinois State Police

ISP also worked with the Secretary of State’s Office to design new Troop license plates for squad units. They said the new plate design is the first update to ISP license plates since 1968. It’s also a salute to ISP’s heritage, fallen officers, and the citizens they protect.

The State of Illinois seal was used on squad cars from the 1930s until the late 1960s. ISP said the seal will be displayed on the new plate to honor the men and women who served ISP in its history, and ISP officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias said that his office was honored to have played a role in the design and issuance of the license plates.

“We thank all of our state officers across Illinois for their service and sacrifice,” Secretary Giannoulias said. “This plate pays special tribute to officers who gave the ultimate sacrifice while in the line of duty. Our hearts remain with the families and loved ones of these officers who devoted their lives to protecting their communities. Their bravery and dedication will never be forgotten.”

ISP said the reorganization of Troopers is the result of years of diligent work to find solutions to provide safety services to the public with reduced staffing levels. They said they conducted staffing studies using an independent consulting company and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Personnel Allocation Model, as well as engaged committees consisting of subject matter experts to assess staffing levels and make recommendations for patrol boundaries.

ISP created a variety of patrol-led missions to address current public safety needs, including CRIMPAT (criminal patrol) operations, Motorcycle Enforcement Bureau operations, Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety details, Chicago Anti-Violence details, and the Statewide Violent Crime Suppression mission focused on key interstates.

This reorganization will also offer more officers the opportunity to serve in specialty positions. The Strategic Operations Command within the Division of Patrol will focus strictly on proactive enforcement. They said this will allow them to expand and deploy the Statewide Anti-Violence Enforcement (SAVE) unit and Highway Interdiction Team (HIT) to areas across the state to focus on violent crime and highway interdiction.