Lyons, Justice, Willow Springs team for 911
Not doing so would cost communities in state funding
By Steve Metsch
The village of Lyons is teaming up with Justice and Willow Springs for its 911 services.
The villages are following a trend of other smaller communities in Illinois, many of which are doing the same thing in order to provide 911 services and not lose any funding in the process.
The Lyons Village Board recently approved an ordinance that establishes a joint 911 authority with Justice and Willow Springs. Lyons Village Manager Tom Sheahan and Police Chief James Keating have been spearheading the work on getting the three communities together, Mayor Christopher Getty said.
“They’ve been working on this for over a year. The state put restrictions on 911 centers where, in order to continue to operate, you have to serve a minimum of 25,000 residents. Our community being 10,729 residents, we do not meet that requirement. And we’d lose our 911 funds which ranges from 75,000 to $100,000 on an annual basis,” the mayor said.
Lyons and Justice will each operate a call enter, with Willow Springs consolidated into those two, Getty said.
“I want to again thank Manager Sheahan and Chief Keating for spending so much time on this,” Getty said.
“Bringing three communities together. You have three different boards, three different police departments, three different fire departments, three different dispatch centers. It’s a lot to bring them together,” he added.
It’s a trend in the area. Summit recently teamed up with Bedford Park and Hickory Hills to combine their 911 services.
The Lyons dispatch center will back up the Justice center, and vice versa, Getty said.
“The state wants consolidation, but also wants you to be backed up,” he said.
There will be savings realized as additional municipalities join in, he said. Some savings may be realized over the years through job attrition, too.
“We’ve had many, many meetings with other towns trying to bring them in. We’ve got a good agreement with Willow springs and Justice,” Getty said.
Lyons trustee Greg Ramirez thinks the consolidation with Justice and Willow Springs “is a good idea.”
“It makes sense because the village would have lost their funding for 911 from the state if they didn’t join up. You’ve got to be 25,000 or more population. We tried to get Summit last year, but they had their mind made up,” Ramirez said.
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