Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Since 2013, Lake County, through the Lake County Emergency Telephone System Board, has studied whether consolidating more than a dozen independent primary and secondary Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) or dispatch centers in Lake County could enhance 911 service.

New legislation in 2015 forced consolidation of smaller systems, and at the time, a study by the task force found that there were 19 dispatch centers employing 280 full-time equivalent positions at a cost of $33 million per year. Equipment maintenance costs about $17 million annually. If all systems were consolidated into one, the estimated savings at the time was between $2.3 million and $10.4 million per year, according to the 2015 study.

In the spring of 2018, 21 Lake County public safety entities agreed through an intergovernmental agreement to participate in a 911 Consolidation Implementation Planning Project. This fall, project members agreed to three tiers for further consideration and planning. The first would involve focusing on technology, where a member would agree to use standardized technology while maintaining independence. The second would add standardized policies and procedures formalized in intergovernmental agreements. The third would include a full consolidation that would combine all dispatch centers under a single entity or agency formed through intergovernmental agreement.

Eventually, the county plans to sell the property where its main dispatch center is in Libertyville that a was built in 1948, along with the old Winchester House property along Milwaukee Avenue. The county could build a replacement or combine with other entities to cover a wider area and save on efficiencies like administrative costs. There are nine different systems used in the 14 centers that serve Lake County.

One of the entities, the FoxComm E911 Communication Center, just purchased brand new equipment. They handle police and fire calls for Fox Lake, Grayslake, and Lake Villa, plus police calls for Park City. Like the county, Park City dispatches police and routes fire calls to the appropriate agency.

Cook, Lake, and DuPage counties, along with Will County to an extent, are the only counties in Illinois without a single 911 center.