Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

A plan to transfer Winnetka’s 911 dispatch service to the Village of Glenview, along with those of Kenilworth, Northfield, and Glencoe, has moved forward, now that all four communities have officially directed their staff to begin negotiations with Glenview.

Winnetka Police Chief Patrick Kreis told Winnetka council members who approved negotiations at their Aug. 16 meeting that village residents would see no change to the service they get when calling a 911 dispatcher, nor would they see a change in their non-emergency communications with the department.

In fact, Kreis said, having access to a larger consolidated center with more staff could actually deliver emergency services faster, by allowing one dispatcher to take information while another dispatches officers.

A state law passed in July 2015 directs small communities across Illinois to consolidate 911 dispatch centers in order to help standardize 911 systems. In Cook County, consolidation is mandated for all communities with fewer than 25,000 people, and is supposed to be completed by July 2017.

Shortly after the legislation passed, Winnetka, Glencoe, Kenilworth, and Northfield, each of which has fewer than 25,000 people and all of whose police or public safety departments already operate on the same radio network, hired California-based Matrix Consulting Group to analyze the best way the municipal quartet could consolidate.

Matrix consultants narrowed the options to the communities creating their own so-called public safety answering point center, or PSAP, or contracting for dispatch services with another community.

Kreis said the study showed contracting with Glenview – which already serves several other communities, including Highland Park, Lake Forest, and Lake Bluff from two dispatch centers – would be the most efficient and least costly way to meet state requirements.

According to Matrix’s figures, the overall cost to start an independent four-town dispatch center, including one-time capital costs and hiring of extra personnel, would be about $2.6 million, compared to roughly $2.3 million to contract with Glenview. The operational portion of that would be about $1.5 million if the four communities went it alone, compared to about $1.2 million under a contract with Glenview, Kreis said and Winnetka’s annual cost savings would eventually be about $152,000.

Matrix’s report recommended a cost-sharing formula in which 20 percent of each year’s annual cost would come from a flat fee divided equally among the communities. Forty percent would be based on each community’s population, and a final 40 percent would be based on each community’s call and other service volumes.

The Matrix report states that under that formula, Winnetka would pay 34 percent, or $409,516 of the estimated $1.2 million in operational costs; Glencoe would pay 28 percent, or $346,144; Northfield would pay 25 percent, or $305,650; and Kenilworth would pay 13 percent, or $160,308.

One of the toughest parts of the changeover would be the loss of some highly skilled and respected dispatchers, Kreis said. Although some dispatchers will be retained to handle some administrative duties, he said “there will be job losses.”

Kenilworth Police Chief David Miller said he believes Glenview would need to hire as many as five new dispatchers if it takes on service to the four communities.”Our hope and belief is that Glenview would consider dispatchers from our communities.”.


thanks Ron

Tags: , , , ,