Chicago Authorities Install 20 Cameras Along So-Called ‘Heroin Highway’
In an attempt to crack down on drug traffic on the Eisenhower Expressway, authorities installed 20 new surveillance cameras.
- By Kaitlyn DeHaven
- Jun 10, 2019
Chicago authorities have installed 20 new surveillance cameras along seven miles of the Eisenhower Expressway, which is sometimes called “Heroin Highway”, on Chicago’s West Side. The cameras were installed in order to cut down on the high amount of drug traffic that comes through the area.
The cameras have license plate readers that will be used to target people who are wanted for crimes primarily related to drug activity and related violence. Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told the Chicago Tribune that the readers will not be used to target speeding vehicles.
“To be perfectly honest, you look at this traffic out here today, I’m not sure that speeding is really an option on the Eisenhower,” Johnson said.
The Chicago High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (Chicago HIDTA) is an organization that tackles drug-related issues and seeks avenues for treatment and prevention. All of the cameras along the Eisenhower Expressway are funded by the organization and will be operated by the Office of Emergency Management and Communications.
Johnson said at a news conference on Friday that the cameras will help with narcotics-related prosecution.
“Video provided by these cameras will have the potential to aid in the prosecution of criminals,” Johnson said. “Few things are quite as convincing to a jury as video footage of a crime.”
Nick Roti, head of Chicago HIDTA, told the Chicago Tribune that cameras seem to diminish drug traffic in the areas they are located, and it would be beneficial to add these along other Chicago expressways.
“We’re not using these as like an overall kind of ‘Big Brother.’ We’re going to pick out individual cars on the expressway,” Roti said. “They’ll probably primarily be used during investigations to actually prove that someone went down on the highway as part of a drug investigation. And then obviously, the very important part of it is also the shootings … that go along with it.”
Kaitlyn DeHaven is the Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.