Trooper Jason Heinzl squinted through the sight of his speed gun, fixed the red laser target on the license plate ‘PQQDLE’ and pulled the trigger.
For a split-second as it flashed past Heinzl’s hidden squad car in the passenger seat of a speeding Chevrolet Tahoe SUV, the unmistakable profile of a well-groomed poodle was silhouetted in black against the sun-bleached windshield.
“Seventy-eight miles an hour,” Heinzl said, stomping on the gas and turning on his lights. “That’ll do.”
A couple of minutes later the dog’s apologetic owner was parked at the side of I-294, and Heinzl was doing something he has done more than any other Illinois State Police cop in the Chicago area over the last decade — writing a speeding ticket.