Seneca Dispatch will soon switch over to the Grundy County Dispatch for all emergency phone calls.
The consolidation is scheduled for Nov. 4 but could take longer pending approval from the Illinois Commerce Commission.
Dispatch times for Seneca ambulance, police and fire should not be affected, Morris Police Chief Brent Dite said. Dite also is the chairman of the Grundy County Emergency Telephone System Board.
The ETSB (911 board) employs 16 full-time and two part-time dispatchers. The ETSB will not need to hire additional dispatchers to handle Seneca’s calls, director of electronic operations Chris Kindlespire said.
“In the big picture, by bringing on an agency without having to add new staff, everyone that’s involved in the process should have a financial benefit,” Dite said.
The nonemergency numbers for police and police dispatch will remain at the Seneca Police Department. The nonemergency numbers will not be manned 24 hours, but will have a recording system where callers can leave a message and police will return their calls.
The recording will remind callers to dial 911 in case of emergency, Seneca Police Chief Ray Meglan said in a news release from the department.
As part of the agreement to take Seneca police on, the ETSB requires a $75,000 dispatching fee and a $15,000 impact fee to be paid by Seneca.
The impact fee is a one-time fee covering all costs incurred during the switchover, including checking Seneca’s radio and data connectivity to the Grundy County facility in Morris. The dispatching fee will help pay for dispatchers.
Dite said Seneca approached the ETSB after Morris and Grundy County dispatchers consolidated in March 2012.
Seneca Police Department employed two full-time dispatchers and eight part-time dispatchers, according to the news release.
Some of the dispatchers have found new work within the police department.
“The dispatchers will be deeply missed and hope for the best in all their future endeavors,” Meglan said in the news release.