Lake County, Ind., to Merge 17 Dispatch Centers into One

County commissioners voted unanimously to borrow $20 million for the construction and equipment costs.

by Bill Dolan, McClatchy News Service / April 25, 2014

The Lake County, Ind., Board of Commissioners finalized a $20 million package Wednesday to finance the launch of its consolidated E-911 service.

The three commissioners voted unanimously at a special meeting to borrow that amount to cover the construction and equipment costs of merging 17 city, town and county police and fire dispatch centers into a countywide network by year's end, as mandated by state law.

Last month, commissioners signed a 15-year deal with Motorola Solutions for an interoperable 700 megahertz P25 Trunked Voice radio infrastructure -- an $8.4 million state-of-the-art digital radio network as well as $862,000 for additional radios, sirens and other equipment.

The county is renovating a section of the Lake County Government Complex to accommodate a central call and dispatch center that will receive much of the communications hardware as well a back-up center in East Chicago.

It also has to construct two new communications towers and rent five others around the county, and buy about $3 million in personal radio receivers to be used by county police officers and ambulance and fire services working for township trustees.

Lake County Commissioner President Mike Repay, D-Hammond, said the $20 million loan is $1 million less in cost than they initially anticipated. "That is good news for taxpayers," he said.

©2014 The Times (Munster, Ind.)