Consolidating dispatch police services

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Skittish residents, however, are concerned these reconstituted public safety departments will be more widespread and less responsive to their local safety and emergency needs.

Nonetheless, the trend is likely to extend deep into other suburban areas and rural Illinois, say public finance and municipal experts.

More aggressive cross training between the two agencies will create a more competent emergency-scene response, but it is most important for each agency to take either a primary or secondary function depending on the circumstances of the incident.

It is important for each department to maintain its own identity while at the same time acquiring training necessary to carry out a more effective and supportive role to enhance emergency response, especially in smaller communities with low volume calls and staffing challenges.

Municipal finances have become so dire the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus — made up of the region's 273 mayors — convened a task force and commissioned a study in 2009 to explore emergency service consolidation options.

Municipalities have downsized and individually done as much as they can, but are now looking at consolidation as "the next phase," according to David Bennett, executive director of the caucus.

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In different cities, consolidation can take many different forms.Read More Visitors will soon have more camping opportunities throughout British Columbia with the completion of more than 350 new campsites in BC Parks and forestry recreation sites, in time for the upcoming camping season.Read More Six-year-old Sammy Holmes was presented a ceremonial key to the new Teck Acute Care Centre by Vancouver-False Creek MLA Sam Sullivan, on behalf of Health Minister Terry Lake, commemorating the many milestones achieved by the BC Children’s and BC Women’s Redevelopment Project.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.

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