Excerpts from the Chicago Tribune:

While Will County’s troubles with its 911 system upgrade have lessened, public safety officials said there’s still a long way to go.

Dan Gewargis, area sales manager for Motorola Solutions, on Thursday told members of the county’s Emergency Telephone System Board that the company has addressed almost all of the problems with the new PremiereOne software and are continuing to monitor the system.

Gewargis said that between the Feb. 19 deadline and Feb. 25, there were 8,713 calls from the county’s dispatch centers and only eight reports of problems pertaining to the items on that “Top 10” list. Also during that time, there were 1,099 log-ins and three reported problems, and out of 4,938 attempts to log on to mobile terminals, nine problems were reported, according to Gewargis.

But Mike Shay, a member of the ETSB and chairman of its technology committee, refuted Gewargis’ report during the board’s meeting.  “I am hard-pressed to imagine that,” said Shay, adding that he had calls and emails about many more problems than that during that period.

The ETSB gave Motorola a Feb. 19 deadline to address 10 of the more significant issues, such as the system crashing, freezing and locking out users. The company has until March 19 to address remaining problems.

Slowness remains an issue, said ETSB member Brad Veerman, of the Lincolnway 911 Communications Center. Once logged in, it takes 5 to 20 minutes for the program to start running, he said.

Gewargis acknowledged that issues remain with the system’s 1,000 mobile units, about two-thirds of which have been upgraded. Once upgraded, there are fewer problems, he said.

Mokena Fire Chief Howard Stephens said he has had connectivity problems ever since Motorola Solutions launched the PremierOne Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system on Nov. 7 — despite purchasing new laptop computers that exceeded the minimum requirements to accommodate the new software.

“We have not enjoyed Will County’s CAD system since Nov. 7,” Stephens told the board, adding that at some time during every day, the fire department loses its connection with the system. Stephens said technicians from Motorola and Verizon have come out to address the problems, and “they all stare at the computers but can’t figure it out.”

Gewargis suggested trying different laptops.

New Lenox Fire Chief Steve Engledow said his department also has connectivity issues. “It’s hit or miss. It’s very unreliable.”

Peotone Police Chief Bill Mort had no complaints, saying “things are working fine from my perspective.”

ETSB chairman Julie Ponce-Doyle, whose husband works for Motorola, opened Thursday’s meeting by denying rumors that she had benefited personally from the contract with Motorola Solutions to upgrade the 911 system. When the ETSB first purchased the system, it was owned by a different company, and she was “only one vote” on the board at that time, she said.