MUNSTER | The Munster Town Council on Monday became the latest municipality to sign on to the E-911 consolidation agreement.
The four council members present at the meeting voted unanimously to join the majority of communities that have either approved the agreement or scheduled a vote by the end of the month. Council member John Reed was absent for the vote.
As part of the agreement, Munster will close its dispatch center Dec. 31, 2014. The next day, the town will merge into the countywide communications dispatch center at the Lake County Government Complex.
Munster Police Chief Steve Scheckel and Town Manager Tom DeGiulio answered questions from Councilman Andy Koultourides about any possible disruption of service at the consolidated call center.
“The call center has dual backup generators. There is also a redundancy in the radio system,” DeGiulio said.
Scheckel said the town will lose six full-time people who currently work as dispatchers. However, he said, “We will have to retain some for clerical and records divisions.”
Lake County will hire the dispatchers for the consolidated call center and train them prior to the call center opening, Scheckel said.
“The agreement is the starting point. The state will see that we are making our deadlines,” Town Council President Joseph Simonetto said.
All 17 cities and towns that currently operate independent police and fire dispatch centers must approve the same interlocal agreement to set up the consolidated E-911.