Read More A team of volunteers and public servants pitched in to assemble the new playground at the Victoria Courthouse, creating a fun and interactive play space in the heart of Victoria this summer for people of all ages to enjoy.
Areas like Lake County that have less than 250,000 residents have to essentially cut their 911 dispatch operations in half, and many have formed task forces to oversee the changes."Cook County is unique because it has more towns and more emergency systems than anywhere else in the state," Barbera-Brelle said.
"There are a number of facilities in Cook County that need to be consolidated, and it's up to the communities to pick and choose who to form a joint facility with, as long as it serves more than 25,000 people."She said the mandate wasn't driven by the state's financial situation, but rather to create a better-managed and more effective emergency response network."The state wants to deliver a next-generation 911 system, and consolidation sets the table so it can be done efficiently," she said Chiodo said consolidation would probably have no effect on how fast local police and fire departments arrive on the scene of an emergency."Calls will just be routed out to the community they come from," he said.
Specifically, we will identify the main problems with public safety officers that range from an actual increase in cost, to the life safety of both citizens and first responders.
In different cities, consolidation can take many different forms.
"Nothing will impede getting emergency services to our residents."While municipalities get a fraction of Illinois' 911 wireless surcharge – a fee of 87 cents every wireless subscriber pays plus a fee that land-line phone customers pay – officials are just beginning to wrangle with how to pay for the building and operational costs of consolidated emergency services."The surcharges from these three communities will go into the consolidated venture," Barbera-Brelle said, adding that grants are also available.
Still, Chmura questions the state's motivation for stirring up local 911 center operations."We were happy the way we were – handling our own calls and we weren't getting complaints," he said.
More than ever, the local cop, firefighter or emergency responder may not be from the neighborhood.
A Better Government Association investigation finds municipal budget shortfalls are forcing a growing segment of Northern Illinois suburbs to consider what was once unthinkable: Merging basic hometown public safety operations with neighboring or regional governments, such as the county sheriff's departments.
Options range from consolidation of technology — including dispatch services — to fully consolidating departments into new regional emergency response entities.