DuQuoin, IL – Troopers from Illinois State Police District 13 and Deputies from the Jackson, Perry and Randolph County Sheriff’s Departments participated in Operation Vigilant Shepherd the morning of Thursday, May 21, 2015. From 7:00 A.M. to 9:00 A.M. officers followed school buses from the Trico School District on their morning routes to pick up school children. They were targeting motorists passing stopped school buses while loading and unloading children. The detail also targeted motorists in and around the school zones who were speeding and using their cell phones. The mission of Operation Vigilant Shepherd was to: Protect the students and staff of TRICO school district, and the motoring public by creating safe transportation routes through aggressive enforcement of traffic laws, to eliminate or greatly reduce incidents involving drivers passing stopped school buses, and to increase the motoring public’s awareness of the traffic laws relating to school zones and buses and to generate voluntary compliance. This partnership between law enforcement and school administrators and staff was birthed out of a need to protect our children by motorists’ adherence to traffic laws in and around schools and buses. Enforcement documents generated during the detail included: 2 Speeding citations, a Using a Cell Phone in a School Zone citation, a Registration citation, a Speeding warning, a Disobeyed Stop Sign warning, a Failure to Wear Seat Belt warning, and an Obstructed Windshield warning. The Illinois State Police remind motorists to be vigilant in school zones! Slow down, put down their distractions, and pay close attention. Also, motorists are not to pass school buses from either direction when their stop arm is extended and their red lights are flashing. One tragedy resulting from a motorist violating the laws designed to protect our children is too many.