WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Emergency Dispatch

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Lee County hopes the formation of a special committee will help resolve the ongoing dispute over the future of the county's centralized emergency dispatch center (LeeComm). The idea is for the most active users of the dispatch center to try reaching a compromise before the courts get involved.

The city of Keokuk filed a lawsuit Wednesday afternoon, seeking to maintain emergency dispatch services despite not signing an agreement to remain a member of the county’s 911 center. The lawsuit also asks the court to not tax Keokuk residents for a service they might not be able to use.

The city of Keokuk was told during a recent meeting that if it wanted answers about the future of Lee County’s emergency dispatch center, it should “get a lawyer.” The city has, in essence, done just that by filing several lawsuits and preparing for additional legal action.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The agreement that created Lee County’s consolidated emergency dispatch center (LeeComm) is set to expire on June 30 and there is no deal in place to extend it that has the signature of all ten members. It appears that will not change anytime soon, which means the future of the system might soon be in the hands of a judge.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The future of Lee County's centralized emergency dispatch center is up in the air, in part because of the city of Keokuk's concerns about the day-to-day operations of the facility. It now appears those concerns are being echoed by the employees of LeeComm.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The future of Lee County’s centralized emergency dispatch center (LeeComm) is in question. The agreement that created it seven years ago will expire soon and a major partner said changes are needed before it can get on board.

Future of Lee County's Emergency Dispatch Center Debated

Jun 23, 2015
Jasonn Parrott

Some big questions must be answered about the future of Lee County's combined emergency dispatch center. The agreement that created LeeComm expires next summer and there are concerns it will not be renewed.

911 call centers are struggling to maintain services as more people ditch their landline phones for cell phones. That’s because wireless phone lines in Illinois are often taxed at a lower rate than landlines. 

If you look at your cell phone bill, you’ll see that every line is charged $0.73 to support 911 emergency services. Ralph Caldwell, who’s the director of Champaign County’s call center, says the chunk of that tax the center receives isn’t high enough.

Lee County will be helping one of its neighbors with emergency dispatching.