Lake Forest Continues to Explore Shared 911 Dispatch, Police and Fire Stay As Is

Lake Forest police chief says the rumored elimination of police and fire departments is false. The only move that is being looked at is the merge of 911 operations.

Credit: City of Lake Forest
Credit: City of Lake Forest
Lake Forest Police Chief Jim Held says the city continues to explore a joint agreement with three other neighboring communities for 911 dispatch services.

Despite talk of the elimination of the police and fire departments, Held says the only change being considered is that of where 911 calls are taken. 

A study conducted by Matrix Consulting showed a savings of $1.9 million over five years if 911 dispatch was outsourced to Glenview. Highland Park and Lake Bluff would be the other neighboring communities who are considering the merge. 

According to an article on the City of Lake Forest's website, the consolidated dispatch would be handled at the dispatch center for the Village of Glenview, in addition to a second communications center at the Highland Park police headquarters.  Operators at the Highland Park center would be handled by Glenview village employees. 

The entire operation would be manned by four supervisors, 29 full-time operators and 10 part-time operators that would work in three different shifts per day, the article states. 

The annual amount of calls per year are estimated to be around 433,000 - but officials say the move, if approved, would not have an adverse effect on response times. 

If approved by the City of Lake Forest, the change is expected to occur in the next few months. 

Programmer Corner March 29, 2014 at 10:25 AM
I'm not sure where the best place is to talk about this. If you email the city, they say go to a town meeting. If you go to a town meeting, no one is there except a 4-5 citizens. It would be nice if the city sent out a survey to all parties. Or, to have something more permanent and easy for all to access, the city should have a survey/voting page on these important topics.
Programmer Corner March 29, 2014 at 10:29 AM
But I think what LJ Gibbs is saying is that there really isn't a way for all citizens to see where their tax dollars are being spent in the first place. It would be nice if our budget actually named some of the things/businesses where our dollars are planned to be spent. Citizens could decide if they wish to cut back on some things that all deem to be less important than 911. I assume our reps are doing this because we're in a cash crunch.
Me March 31, 2014 at 12:24 AM
911 service shouldn't be sacred but it is not the only place we should cut. How about firing Bob Kiely for allowing the local administration to become so bloated and wasteful on his watch?
Matt Nielsen March 31, 2014 at 09:06 AM
There are just too many questions surrounding the effectiveness of this decision and how it is communicated to the communities involved. They have public forums, but barely communicate them or give sufficient notice. Then nobody shows. This change has been railroaded through by the powers that be all in the name of saving money, not increasing public safety.
Rene Caputo April 01, 2014 at 06:51 PM
One major problem with this consolidation is how many cities are actually involved? It's not only LF, LB, Glenview and HP--they also monitor 911 calls for other cities? How many cities in total are we talking about? How many people will be staffed at all times? We are going to save 1.? million over 5 years but what is the cost to put this whole thing together?? What is going to happen to all the dispatchers? I'm sure they'll be consolidated by losing their jobs!! As residents we need some questions answered as to the safety and security of our residents and business owners. I definitely agree with Bonita on this issue!!


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