EDITORIAL: A call for change on Lake County's 911 merger

2013-02-24T00:00:00Z EDITORIAL: A call for change on Lake County's 911 merger nwitimes.com
February 24, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Lake County is so far behind in its E-911 consolidation that it's gone from embarrassing to horrifying. The recent talk of changing consultants only reinforces this view.

We're not talking about merging all police and fire operations here. This is purely about dispatching.

The ideal structure would be to set up a governing board for a stand-alone countywide system, with representatives from each department, to run this agency.

The Lake County Council has balked at repeated demands to sign an interlocal agreement for this system because the costs aren't known yet.

That's why it's time to change consultants, but to change to consultants who have done this work before. Get someone in there who knows how to accomplish the consolidation before the state-imposed deadline of Dec. 31, 2014, and stop the stalling. 

Hire consultants like Dan McDevitt and Terry Hillard, both of whom have indicated their willingness to help.

McDevitt, a former Lansing police chief, is co-owner of the consulting group REM Management Services and has global experience on public safety issues. He helped Porter County solve its problems.

Hillard is familiar with large dispatch centers, having served as Chicago's police superintendent as part of his more than three decades of service in the Chicago Police Department. He is now a partner and co-founder of the Hillard Heintze consulting firm.

These are the types of consultants Lake County needs to solve this E-911 merger puzzle.

Make it a standalone agency, not an expansion of anyone's political power. Solve the cost and funding issues quickly. Ordering and installing the equipment, along with hiring and training staff, will take time.

And keep that deadline in mind. The financial penalties of not complying would be costly. And Lake County doesn't need to show another black eye downstate, either.

Do it right, and do it now.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Featured Businesses

Submit a Letter to Editor

We welcome letters from readers on any issue of public interest, and make every effort to publish as many as we can and in a timely manner. The Times will publish only one letter a month from a writer, and be sure to include your name, address and a telephone number for verification. Letters should be 150 words or less. They will be edited.

Letters may be submitted:
  • Via our submission form.
  • Via e-mail.
  • Via fax: (219) 933-3249 or (219) 465-7298
  • Via mail or by hand to our offices:
    • 601 45th Ave., Munster, IN 46321
    • 2080 N. Main St., Crown Point, IN 46307
    • 1111 Glendale Blvd., Valparaiso, IN 46383
    • 3410 Delta Dr., Portage, IN 46368
    • Please mark envelopes with "Attn: Letters"


Email Editorial Page Editor Doug Ross or call (219) 548-4360 or (219) 933-3357



Who do you support for Porter County commissioner?

View Results