CROWN POINT | Lake County's E-911 director resigned in dramatic fashion Thursday morning, leaving some to feel the consolidation of emergency communications is suffering its own emergency.
"E-911 has made a complete U-turn with this," Lake County Sheriff John Buncich said minutes later. "We have no go-to person. We need to fill the void immediately."
However, Lake County Commissioner Mike Repay, D-Hammond, said later he is confident a replacement likely will be found soon.
Jeffery Cicillian, who has served for years as liaison between the county's 17 community-based police and fire communications and the state, which finances their operations, announced his resignation during a meeting of the county's police and fire chiefs to discuss the future of E-911 consolidation.
"As of today, I'm done. I want to thank the police and fire chiefs for supporting me for all these years. I'm done with E-911. There have been some issues. I wish you good luck," he said.
"Commissioner, here are the keys to my office," Cicillian said as he set them down before Commissioner Gerry Scheub, D-Crown Point, who was taking part in the E-911 advisory meeting.
Scheub didn't immediately comment Thursday on Cicillian's departure.
Scheub and Repay had called the county's E-911 leadership into question earlier this month, saying progress to consolidation had been too slow. Lake County has only 22 months to merge its community-based dispatch centers into a central operation or county and municipal government stands to lose $2.6 million in state E-911 funding.
However, commissioners had extended Cicillian's contract until the end of March. Cicillian said he now has another job offer he is pursuing.
Cicillian has been a county consultant on the E-911 issue for at least four years. One police specialist at Thursday's meeting said Cicillian provided computer parts and service much quicker than their telecommunications provider when police needed immediate help.