20 Aug 2014
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Highland Park Approves Consolidated Dispatch

The city says it could save up to $120,000 a year.

Highland Park Approves Consolidated Dispatch
The following is from the City of Highland Park:

In an effort to increase efficiency and enhance service to residents, the City of Highland Park has worked with the Village of Glenview, City of Lake Forest, and Village of Lake Bluff since July 2012 to analyze the advantage of consolidating dispatch operations. At the April 28, 2014 City Council Meeting, the City Council approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Village of Glenview for contractual police and fire dispatch services. Staff reported that the City could save approximately $78,000 per year over the next five years followed by approximately $120,000 per year over the next 10 years. Under the proposed merger, Glenview would run the current operation at Highland Park Police Headquarters and fold in the Lake Forest and Lake Bluff functions. The consolidation would include enhancements to the center’s current operations with equipment upgrades in radio and telephone technology.  

Public safety is a top priority for the City Council. Consolidating dispatch would continue to assure prompt and reliable emergency response while saving money. Mayor Nancy R. Rotering stated, “Our overall goal is to continue to provide high quality public safety to our community while finding efficiencies. This consolidation provides improved technology, back-up coverage and lower costs. We appreciate the efforts of our neighbor cities and of Glenview in putting together this proposal.”  

In July 2012, the three municipalities contracted with Matrix Consulting Group to conduct a feasibility study of consolidating 9-1-1 public safety dispatch operations. The study was completed in September 2013 and reviewed by the Shared Fire Services Task Force as well as a group of police and fire chiefs from each community. After several meetings, the groups recommended consolidating 9-1-1 dispatch services under contract with Glenview, housed at the Highland Park facility.  

“By continuing to operate a dispatch center out of the Highland Park Police Department, we can ensure our residents high quality service in responding to emergencies,” Police Chief Paul Shafer said. “We will still have a very active dispatch center operating out of our facilities.”  

A meeting of the three City/Village Councils was held December 17, 2013 where municipal staff and Matrix Consulting Group presented the final draft of the consolidation study along with the Task Force recommendation. The consensus of the elected members present was to propose consolidating services with Glenview, housed at Highland Park Police Department. In January 2014, the Highland Park City Council directed staff to prepare a contract for police and fire dispatch services with the Village of Glenview.  

Consolidated dispatch operations will be fully operational by fall this year. The Village of Glenview currently operates a consolidated dispatch center for several other municipalities, all of which report satisfaction with emergency response times and service levels. 
Updates on the consolidated dispatch will be provided through the City’s communication tools including the Highlander, electronic newsletter, website and social media. To receive the City’s enewsletter, you may register at www.cityhpil.com/signup. #

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