Posts Tagged 9-1-1 dispatch center in Des Plaines

Des Plaines police move to Wheeling dispatch

Excerpts from a Daily Herald article about the Des Plaines move to Wheeling for 911 police dispatch:

All 911 calls in Des Plaines are now being answered at a dispatch center in Wheeling — a recent switch that both towns’ leaders lauded Monday as mutually beneficial.

Des Plaines’ city council approved a five-year contract last June to outsource its police dispatch services to Wheeling as Des Plaines prepared to close its aging dispatch center. The switch-over took place Jan. 11 without any problems, officials said.

Des Plaines officials have estimated the city will save $4.1 million over the course of the agreement. Major upgrades would have been necessary to modernize the old dispatch center, located on the second floor of city hall. Some of the problems include outdated equipment and computer systems. The city handled its own dispatch calls and those from other municipalities for some 20 years until officials decided to decommission the center.

Wheeling, meanwhile, was looking to take on a customer after completing renovations to its police department headquarters in 2011, said Police Chief Bill Benson.

Des Plaines will pay Wheeling $12.1 million over the course of the agreement in operational and capital costs.

Eleven of the 13 dispatchers who remained when Des Plaines’ center shut down have been hired by Wheeling. However, last summer as many as 22 employees worked in Des Plaines.

Des Plaines plans to expand its police records bureau within the dispatch center space in city hall, though the equipment in the center is still functional, and will be used as a “cold” backup center. That means it would be third in line to take 911 calls, after utilizing a “hot” backup center at the West Suburban Consolidated Dispatch Center in River Forest, according to Police Chief Bill Kushner.

Des Plaines fire emergency calls have been handled by the Regional Emergency Dispatch Center in Northbrook since last September. The council approved an agreement with the center, a consortium that dispatches for 16 fire departments, a year earlier.

All 911 calls in Des Plaines go to the Wheeling dispatch center, and fire-related calls are immediately directed to the RED Center.

thanks Dan

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Des Plaines police moving to Wheeling dispatch

The Daily Herald has an article about Des Plaines Police Department contracting with the Village of Wheeling for dispatching services. This follows the Des Plaines Fire Department moving to RED Center..

Starting next year, anyone who calls 911 for police in Des Plaines will get their call answered by someone in Wheeling — the result of a five-year contract approved by Des Plaines’ city council Monday. The move comes as Des Plaines readies to close its aging dispatch center on the second floor of city hall.

Des Plaines officials estimate they’ll save $4.1 million over the course of the five-year agreement by contracting with the village of Wheeling, which operates a dispatch center at its police department headquarters.

Des Plaines has dispatched its own police and fire calls — and handled dispatching for other local municipalities — for some 20 years. But outdated equipment and computer systems have spurred officials to decommission the city’s emergency communications center.

Police Chief Bill Kushner said major expenditures would be needed to modernize the facility, which has an increasingly failure-prone records management system that doesn’t interface consistently with the computer-aided dispatch system. There are issues with the dispatch system’s software, the radio system itself and the dispatch consoles, he said.

The dispatch center, at one time called the North Suburban Emergency Communications Center, previously handled all police and fire emergency calls for Des Plaines, Park Ridge, Niles and Morton Grove. Niles and Morton Grove left in 2012 after signing contracts for dispatching services with Glenview.

As soon as this August, Des Plaines and Park Ridge will have their fire dispatch at the Regional Emergency Dispatch Center in Northbrook. Park Ridge police calls will be answered at the West Suburban Communications Center in River Forest.

Kushner said anyone who calls 911 in Des Plaines — whether for a police or fire emergency — will first talk to a dispatcher in Wheeling. If the emergency is related to fire, the Wheeling-based dispatcher will stay on the line while the call is transferred to the RED Center in Northbrook.

Des Plaines officials say they talked with other agencies besides Wheeling. Officials from Northwest Central Dispatch in Arlington Heights and the privately held Norcomm in Leyden Township indicated Des Plaines’ call volume would be too high. Rosemont Public Safety officials were not interested. Glenview Public Safety offered attractive first-year pricing, with substantial price increases in later years, Kushner said.

Des Plaines officials estimate the city’s share of operational and capital costs at the Wheeling dispatch center will be $12.1 million over the course of the five-year agreement — $4.1 million less than if police dispatching were to remain in Des Plaines. Those costs include severance payouts to current employees, though Wheeling officials have said they plan to hire 11 dispatchers to handle Des Plaines calls, and the current Des Plaines dispatchers would get preference in hiring.

thanks Dan

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Des Plaines might change 9-1-1 Center

The Daily Herald has an article discussing changes to the 9-1-1 Dispatch Center.

The Des Plaines public works committee Thursday night agreed to recommend to the city council the establishment of a Des Plaines dispatch center and emergency telephone system board to handle 911 calls for Des Plaines and Park Ridge.

It’s the first step toward the dissolution of the North Suburban Emergency Communications Center, which provides 911 dispatch services for Des Plaines, Park Ridge, Niles and Morton Grove, and the disbanding of the Joint Emergency Telephone System (JETS) Board, which governs the current 911 center located in Des Plaines.

The 24-hour center, which has been in operation for 20 years, has been handling emergency police and fire calls for Des Plaines and Park Ridge, and police calls for Niles and Morton Grove since 2004.

Morton Grove and Niles already have opted to leave the cooperative due to cost concerns and join with Glenview’s dispatch center. Des Plaines and Park Ridge considered joining with Northwest Central Dispatch System but that agency’s governing board declined their request for a feasibility study due to its own constraints.

The only remaining option is for Des Plaines to operate its own dispatch center out of City Hall with fewer employees. Park Ridge would contract with Des Plaines to handle its 911 police and fire dispatch calls, Des Plaines Fire Chief Alan Wax said.

If approved, the Des Plaines 911 center would be governed by a five-member board consisting of the city manager, finance director, police and fire chiefs, and a citizen member appointed by the mayor with the city council’s consent, Wax said.

The cost of upgrading the antiquated dispatch system would have to be deferred until officials know whether the new 911 center will continue beyond the proposed two years. The center needs a new computer-aided dispatch system, which would allow for the transmission of text, video, and pictures. The estimated cost is roughly $2 million.

The entire article can be found HERE.

thanks Chris

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