The Wheeling village board this week approved a five-year contract to handle emergency dispatching for the Des Plaines Police Department starting Jan. 1.
Under the deal authorized Monday night, Des Plaines will pay Wheeling $9.47 million over five years and give the village equipment valued at about $1 million, according to a Wheeling staff memo.
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Wheeling will more than double its call center staffing by adding 11 employees, with priority given to employees from the Des Plaines center closing at the end of the year.
Wheeling funds its center primarily through a tax on landline phones, but with increased cellphone use that revenue stream is in decline. The center now runs a deficit that the village makes up from its general fund.
Residents have twice rejected attempts to increase the telephone tax, but this move will put the center in the black again, said Wheeling Village Manager Jon Sfondilis.
Des Plaines officials say the agreement will save the city $4.1 million compared to the cost of making upgrades needed to keep the city's dispatch center operational.
This type of cooperation between two municipalities is "not something you see every day," Sfondilis said.
"We were able to make this thing work and cover all the bases," he added.
All emergency calls from both communities will go to the Wheeling center, with fire and emergency medical service calls immediately transferred to the RED Center in Northbrook, which handles dispatching for many fire departments.