Thursday, January 25, 2018 || Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Featured image: A cellphone showing the 911 emergency number. | Kativ/Getty Images
The villages of Maywood and Broadview have entered into an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) establishing a consolidated 911 dispatch system and communication center.
The Ike Joint Emergency Telephone System will operate out of the Eisenhower Emergency Communication Center, located inside of a building addition that will be constructed adjacent Broadview’s administrative building at 2350 S. 25th Ave., in Broadview. The system will be operated by a governing board.
The IGA, which was approved in December 2017, comes after a new state law took effect in January 2016. The law requires municipalities with populations of fewer than 25,000 residents to consolidate their 911 dispatch systems. Maywood’s population is just under 24,000 while Broadview’s is just under 8,000.
The law also revokes the authority of local governments to collect surcharges from telecommunications and wireless carriers while enacting a uniform statewide surcharge.
Starting in 2022, the state will reduce the surcharge that is currently tacked onto the cellphone bills of residents by half in order to help pay for a statewide 911 system.
When the Maywood Board of Trustees discussed the issue in 2016, village attorney Michael Jurusik said that the law emanated from the Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desire to consolidate multiple municipal governments.
“So they looked at all these public safety access points, or PCAPs,” Jurusik said at the time. “These are your dispatch centers. They said, it’s too many of these things out there; let’s get everybody to consolidate.”
Jurusik added that the part of the state’s motivation for the law was the lack of quality emergency dispatch systems in rural areas largely concentrated downstate.
When notified that they would have to consolidate, village officials in both towns pushed back against the idea, with Maywood Police Chief Valdimir Talley calling it a “lose-lose situation.”
“In my decision, it was a bad decision in Springfield that nobody really thought through [and] it’s being forced upon us,” Talley said in 2016.
Former Broadview mayor Sherman Jones said at the time that his “gut opinion is that we’re not going to realize any cost savings, because the call volume won’t change.”
Both towns applied for waivers that would have exempted municipalities of fewer than 25,000 from the requirement to consolidate, but to no avail.
According to the IGA, Broadview will be responsible for paying the cost of the construction of the new building addition that houses the IKE 911 center. The village will also be the sole owner of the property.
Both villages will each pay 50 percent of the costs of certain equipment, in addition to some interior construction costs related to the center’s operation.
In 2016, according to village officials, Maywood had eight dispatch employees working in a room above the village’s police station while Broadview employed six dispatch employees.
Once the build-out is completed, all dispatch employees for both villages will operate out of Broadview, but, according to the IGA, each of the villages will be “the sole employer of its own 911 dispatchers and supervisory staff who work at the IKE 911 Center” and responsible for those employees’ salaries and benefits.
According to a draft budget of the build-out from last September, the construction cost of the new center could range from a total of approximately $1.8 million to $1.96 million. The conceptual budget also allows for roughly $1.6 million for the purchase dispatch and radio equipment, and furniture.
The new 911 dispatch system will be governed by the IKE 911 Center Operating Board, comprised of fire and police chiefs, “with the assistance of a designated 911 Center Dispatch Supervisor(s),” according to the IGA language. VFP
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