Future of Montgomery dispatch center at issue
By Judy Pochel For The Beacon-News February 24, 2013 3:58PM
Updated: February 25, 2013 12:24PM
Trustees in the Village of Montgomery are expected to discuss the future of their police dispatchers at their board meeting Monday night.
The catalyst for the change was when Sugar Grove notified the village they are moving from having Montgomery dispatch calls for their police and fire protection. The $200,000 in revenue from Sugar Grove will also go away and the village is left to decide if they will continue to operate their dispatch center, with less revenue or also move.
“The village currently provides dispatch services to Sugar Grove Police and Fire, Montgomery Countryside Fire, Aurora Township Fire and Waubonsee Community College,” according to Police Chief Dan Meyers.
Acting Village Administrator and Finance Administrator Jeff Zoephel said the switch to a regional group would amount to a cost savings but said that figure is not yet available.
Meyers will present a memo to village officials Monday night outlining the issue and how it will affect residents. “The Village has provided dispatch services to itself and other agencies since 1970. There are currently 8 budgeted positions,” he said.
The question as to what will happen to the dispatchers was not addressed in the memo. Meyers said with the anticipated savings of an estimated $330,000 in 2014 and $500,000 in subsequent years, “it is recommended we hire two police officers in FY 2014 and a third officer in FY 2015,” the memo concluded.
Meyers also states in the memo he would recommend the village partner with Ken-Com Public Safety Dispatch. “Currently the majority of the Village’s population, (57 percent) is in Kendall County. Also, the majority of our commercial and retail businesses are in Kendall County.”
Trustees reached late last week are mixed on the plan.
Trustee Pete Heinz says he thinks there is a better way. “We keep three of our dispatchers and if needed officers can fill in at different times. We have all that equipment out there, for what?” he said.
Matt Brolley said he doesn’t think residents will notice the change to Ken Com. “If it works out better financially and it is beneficial? It is unfortunate for the dispatchers, we never want to have to let them go,” he said.