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Daily Journal
     February 25, 2020      #12-56 KDJ
 

Bradley joins Kankakee County's dispatch

By Lee Provost
lprovost@daily-journal.com


BRADLEY — A move some 20 years in the making was officially completed on Monday with the village of Bradley becoming the newest member of the countywide Kan-Comm public safety system.

The logistics of bringing Bradley into the system will be ironed out during the course of the next five weeks.

Bradley is expected to officially begin working within the countywide complex by April 1. It was at the end of October when the village board authorized finance director Rob Romo to begin discussions with Kan-Comm leadership regarding this move.

The board approved the intergovernmental agreement by a 6-0 vote.

The dispatch center is the location where calls for emergency police, fire and ambulance emergency and non-emergency services arrive. The dispatchers collect the critical information and then assign the appropriate department to respond.

Each community once had its own dispatch center, but that isolation proved to be not as effective or economical as having the entire system under one roof.

Romo said this move will likely save Bradley taxpayers about $500,000 in annual expenses as the seven Bradley dispatchers will be transitioned in the countywide system, if they are willing to take transfer.

Bradley’s dispatch center, located in the village hall complex, costs taxpayers between $1 million to $1.1 million to maintain, Romo noted. He said by the village joining Kan-Comm for an annual cost of $600,000, the village will net a half-million savings.

Bradley had been serving as the back-up to Kam-Comm as well. By it joining the system, Grundy County will serve as the back-up for Kan-Comm.

“Consolidation is the key to giving citizens the service of a primary dispatch center,” Romo said.

Deputy Police Chief Craig Anderson noted during the past 29 shifts for Bradley’s dispatch center, 21 shifts were manned by one dispatcher.

That number meant calls were then re-routed back to Kan-Comm. When minutes and seconds can mean the difference between life and death, he said that situation is unacceptable.

As crazy at it may seem in today’s communication world, calls for public safety service in Bradley coming through a cellphone — the most common device for communication — are first routed to Kan-Comm. Once one of the 27 dispatchers there determines it is a Bradley call, the call is routed back to Bradley.

Some 70 percent of Bradley 911 calls originate first through Kan-Comm.

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