Illinois state police urges public to look for suspect trucks

| 11/13/2001

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Illinois State Police is asking the public to be on the lookout for suspicious trucks. Record numbers of trucks in the state already are being stopped and inspected.

Though state police doubled the number of truck inspections during the month after the attacks, officials say they could use more help. "Since Sept. 11 we've been going out and stopping more trucks," Sgt. David Beasley, supervisor of the commercial vehicles unit for the state police, told Illinois House members last week. "But unless someone tells us about something unusual happening, chances are that it could sneak through."

During September, state police reportedly inspected 516 trucks in northern Illinois, double the normal number of monthly inspections. Statewide, about 1,000 trucks were inspected.

Aside from sheer numbers, Beasley said frequent alerts from federal authorities in recent weeks about suspicious trucks sometimes have made it difficult for the state police to respond. "The alerts we're getting are very generic," he said. "That's why we want to know if the public sees something unusual like a truck going up and down a street that they never saw go up and down the street before. They need to contact us."