Posts Tagged shared emergency dispatch

Glenview to take over other towns (more)

The Chicago Tribune has an article about the new dispatching services for Highland Park:

Before last week, Highland Park City Council members said, they believed they would save upward of $250,000 a year by consolidating emergency dispatch services with Glenview.

But recently they were shocked to learn they might not save money at all. At a recent meeting, Finance Director Nikki Larson said the savings looked more like $5,000 over five years given the latest cost estimates from Glenview – and undetermined variables in service could actually wind up costing Highland Park more.

“Basically, it would cost us more to consolidate?” Mayor Nancy Rotering asked Larson. “As it stands today – yes,” Larson replied. “That makes no sense,” Rotering said.

After that meeting, Highland Park and Glenview officials seemed both befuddled and a bit miffed by what exactly happened to those projected savings. But Highland Park will continue to attempt a negotiation with Glenview that will make sense for all parties involved, officials said, while also considering other consolidation options.

In January, the City Council approved entering into negotiations with Glenview, which was to handle police and fire dispatch services for Highland Park, Lake Forest and Lake Bluff, while operating out of the Highland Park police station. Like other shared services among municipalities, the idea was to save money while maintaining high levels of service. The consolidation was initially projected to save Highland Park, Lake Forest and Lake Bluff a combined $4.5 million over five years.

Matrix Consulting Group, a public safety consulting firm, conducted a study of various cost-saving scenarios and presented findings to officials from the four towns in December.

At [ a] recent meeting, City Manager David Knapp explained that some of [a] $1.1 million [funding] request is a result of necessary technology improvements that would be needed with or without consolidation. He also said it’s possible that Matrix overestimated savings and Glenview underestimated costs.

Brent Reynolds, Glenview’s director of public safety support services, said he was “uncomfortable” with the notion that Glenview’s numbers have somehow changed. But additional technology enhancements were added into the cost based on previous discussions with Highland Park, Reynolds said.

About $354,000 in improvements were added in for Highland Park’s share of the cost to upgrade the radio system infrastructure, Reynolds said, adding “dual redundancy dispatch equipment” and effectively allowing the dispatch centers in Highland Park and Glenview to back each other up seamlessly.

Based on the consolidation formula, Lake Forest, Lake Bluff and Highwood would share an additional $354,000 of the improvement costs, Reynolds said, and Glenview would pay about $416,000.

In Lake Forest, Deputy Police Chief Karl Walldorf said the city is still in negotiations as to how much it would pay Glenview for taking on the duties, but initial figures predict Lake Forest will save about $1.9 million over five years.

That number doesn’t include the savings Lake Forest would realize if it doesn’t have to upgrade antiquated dispatch radio equipment, Walldorf said.

Earlier articles on the consolidation are HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

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Glenview dispatch to take over other towns

From the Village of Glenview Report:

The Village of Glenview entered into seven-year intergovernmental agreements with the cities of Highland Park and Lake Forest and the Village of Lake Bluff to provide public safety dispatch services to begin by September 1, 2014.

Glenview will operate two dispatch centers, with the primary center at the Glenview Police Department and the secondary center at the Highland Park Police Department, with full redundancy between the two centers. To facilitate the dispatch services, the 2014 budget was amended by $2.298 million, which will be offset by revenues from the dispatch services agreements. Agreements were authorized for capital improvements to consolidate and service the new  dispatch customers.

The City of Highwood is also considering entering into an intergovernmental agreement with Glenview for public safety dispatch services.


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Fire departments discuss combining services

Dennis McGuire, Jr. found an article discussing a possible merger of sorts between three suburban fire and police departments.

La Grange officials voiced unanimous support to pursue a program of shared services with Western Springs and LaGrange Park in the first of three presentations Sept. 26 on the concept.

The study, sponsored by the Metropolitan Mayors and Managers Caucus and funded in part by a grant, was designed to examine similarities between the three villages regarding community characteristics and public safety operations.

The three towns have very similar populations, number of square miles and financial resources. Differences lie in emergency services with LaGrange Park and Western Springs employing paid, on-call firefighters and a private paramedic service, compared to La Grange, which has full-time firefighters.

The project also identified opportunities to share public safety services and made seven recommendations in a three-phase approach, beginning with combining emergency dispatch services.

The analysis of calls for emergency services suggests the total call volumes could be met from a single dispatch center with a potential savings of three full-time and four part-time workers. Other communities may be invited to join the system in time.

Departments could also share a record and reporting system.

Fire department trucks could be shared, and police services could be combined with overlapping responsibility between the communities for the supervising shift sergeant. Eventually, policing districts within and between the communities could be consolidated into larger ones.

Read the complete article from TheDoingsWestern Springs HERE.

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