Earlier today, our Village Administrator met with the union representatives of the dispatchers from the Wauconda E-911 Emergency Dispatch Center to discuss the findings of an analysis conducted by the Village on the long-term trends and sustainability of emergency dispatch services. Based on the findings of this analysis, his preliminary recommendation to the Village Board, which was shared with the union today, is to pursue outsourcing of emergency dispatch operations to the Village of Lake Zurich.
We recognize that this potential move is not without human costs. If dispatch operations are outsourced to Lake Zurich, ten full-time and two part-time dispatch positions will be eliminated. These positions are not just numbers. They are our friends and co-workers and the prospect of implementing an out-sourcing option is emotional for all involved. However, from an administrative and organizational leadership position, our Village Administrator's job is to identify the most effective solutions to imminent economic challenges which is the basis for his recommendation. The Administrator has had preliminary discussions with Lake Zurich officials on getting preference for our displaced workers if they expand. To further soften the impact for those displaced, we are in discussions with the union on potential severance packages and displaced worker counseling services to assist them with career placement and transition needs.
In the analysis, five-year projections on the costs of operating an internal dispatch center (status quo option) are compared to cost projections for out-sourcing the service to the Village of Lake Zurich. Under this alternative scenario, the analysis suggests the Village could save approximately $2.1 million in dispatch costs over a five-year period. Additionally, this process includes careful consideration as to how the Village will continue to provide expedient, professional public safety services to our residents and businesses. We can assure you that the Village is committed to ensuring that Wauconda receives exemplary emergency services regardless of who provides that service.
The Village Administrator's preliminary findings suggest that Lake Zurich is a highly professional dispatch operation proficient in emergency medical dispatch, assessing emergency situations quickly and accurately, and getting the appropriate emergency personnel and equipment on scene. Lake Zurich's dispatch operation is part of the CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) certified Lake Zurich Police Department and has served as Wauconda's backup dispatch center for years with positive results. Lake Zurich also provided dispatch services to Wauconda prior to establishing our own emergency dispatch center several years ago.
This press release on our preliminary recommendation is being made public to help address some questions on dispatch services that the community may have. A final recommendation will be made to the Village Board at a Committee of the Whole meeting once all quality of service questions and transition plans and details have been addressed. Questions regarding Emergency 911 dispatch operations for the Village of Wauconda can be directed to the Village Administrator's Office at (847) 526-9603.
Take care and God Bless,
Frank A. Bart
Village of Wauconda