Bid for E-911 changes falls flat

2014-05-08T18:45:00Z 2014-05-09T09:36:03Z Bid for E-911 changes falls flatBill Dolan, (219) 662-5328

CROWN POINT | The Lake County Council disconnected a call by four towns refusing to join the E-911 consolidation unless they first get more concessions.

Schererville Town Councilman Jerry Tippy, R-1st, appeared Thursday before County Council members to get them to approve a new agreement guaranteeing the county will preserve the quality of emergency police and fire communications and emergency response times to their residents without future tax increases.

Council members sent him packing.

Tippy said after the meeting, "I just want people to know we have made every effort to compromise on this."

Tippy said he represents Cedar Lake, Highland, St. John and Schererville officials who previously have complained they don't trust county government to operate E-911 emergency communications as well or as cheaply as their four police and fire dispatch centers currently in operation.

County officials rejected Tippy's list of guarantees as unnecessary foot-dragging. They told Tippy to take it to the other 12 cities and towns that already support the county's version of consolidation and see what they think of it.

Six years ago, the state mandated Lake's 17 county and community-based dispatch centers merge into a single communications network by the end of this year.

Crown Point, Dyer, East Chicago, Gary, Griffith, Hammond, Hobart, Lake Station, Lowell, Munster, New Chicago, Merrillville, Whiting and county police signed an interlocal agreement late last year to join the new service.

Tippy complained the other four communities weren't given enough time to study the interlocal to see if it was right for them. He said the four communities will meet again in a couple of months and plan their next move.

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