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Aurora, Ill., to Receive Nearly $2.3M for 911 Center Update

A $2.28 million federal grant will allow the city to upgrade its 911 emergency dispatch center and implement new technology that will allow dispatchers to do their jobs more efficiently, officials say.

(TNS) — Aurora is set to receive a $2.28 million federal grant for an upgrade of its 911 emergency dispatch center.

City officials celebrated receipt of the money at this week's City Council meeting on Tuesday night by recognizing public safety officials, and honoring U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D- Naperville, who was instrumental in getting the grant for the city through the Consolidated Appropriations Act.

Aurora Police Administrative Services Lt. Bill Rowley said that last year, the less than 20 dispatchers in the 911 center answered more than 250,000 calls for police, fire, medical and other city services.

"That small group of people made a huge impact on the city of Aurora," Rowley said.

The money to build a recreated dispatch center, as well as supply it with updated technology, will allow those dispatchers to do their job ever better and more efficiently, Rowley said.

Foster said it has "always been one of my top priorities to see that Illinois gets its share of federal funding," and to make sure it "arrives in places where it will do the most good for those I represent."

Clayton Muhammad, Aurora's chief communications and equity officer, pointed out that in the past year, as part of the community funding aspect of the appropriations act, Foster brought more than $26 million in funding for 15 projects in the 11th Congressional District, more than half of those projects in Aurora.

Foster called the Aurora dispatch center project important "for streamlining the communication of our first responders, reducing response time and ultimately saving lives."

"I really can't wait to see this project come to fruition," he said.

Mayor Richard Irvin presented Foster with the Mayor's Award of Excellence at the Tuesday meeting.

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