Park Ridge’s request to join new 911 call center put on hold
Updated: November 5, 2012 6:19AM
PARK RIDGE — An attempt by the Park Ridge Police and Fire departments to join a new suburban emergency-dispatch center has been put on hold.
The Northwest Central Dispatch Board on Sept. 20 decided not to conduct a feasibility study of providing dispatch services for both Park Ridge and Des Plaines.
“The general consensus is that Northwest Central Dispatch has a lot of items on their plate,” said Ray Rummel, chairman of Northwest Central Dispatch’s board and Elk Grove’s village manager.
Rummel explained that upgrades to computerized-dispatching and radio systems were recently conducted. These systems “have to work perfectly in order for us to serve our public” before additional communities can be considered, he added.
Northwest Central Dispatch, located in Arlington Heights, provides dispatching services for 16 northwest suburban police and fire departments.
Park Ridge and Des Plaines police and fire are now served by the North Suburban Emergency Communication Center in Des Plaines, as are Niles and Morton Grove police. Recently attempts have been made by Morton Grove and Niles police to join the Glenview Public Safety Dispatch Center. Both communities have cited a potential cost-savings of between $300,000 and $400,000 annually by making the switch, which must be approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission.
Both Rummel and Park Ridge Police Chief Frank Kaminski said a study of Park Ridge and Des Plaines joining Northwest Central Dispatch can be reconsidered in the future.
“We didn’t want them to wait six months for us to get through our major computer-related items before we got an answer back to them,” Rummel said of the board’s decision to nix the feasibility study at this time.
In the meantime Park Ridge is looking at other options, like the Glenview Public Safety Dispatch Center.
“We’re looking at other alternates as they continue to come up,” Kaminski said.
Kaminski indicated he could not comment as to whether Park Ridge will experience cost-savings by joining another 911 dispatch center, as there are many factors to consider, like the technology used.
“There’s a lot of unanswered questions that I don’t have the answers to right now,” he acknowledged. “The bottom line is: The current dispatch system stays in place until everybody has their issues resolved.”
The past summer the Joint Emergency Telephone System Board, an intergovernmental organization representing Park Ridge, Des Plaines, Niles and Morton Grove, decided to request a feasibility study of moving dispatching services from the North Suburban Emergency Communication Center to the Northwest Central Dispatch System after members learned that the Morton Grove Police Department was pursuing dispatch services from Glenview.