State Police Dispatchers Protest Proposed Cuts

Published 04/26 2012 10:26PM

Updated 04/26 2012 10:44PM

State police dispatchers hit the picket line protesting cuts to their jobs.  The state plan would shut down 75 percent of its communication hubs across the state.

"The ISP call center consolidation plan is a mistake.  ISP TC's are literally the lifeline for those in need," retired ISP Master Sgt. Rory Steidl said.

He has decades of law enforcement under his belt. He says dispatch is critical.

"They know where problems are going to develop a lot of times and they coordinated with me as a trooper and me as a shift commander," Steidl said.

More than a dozen people protested a plan that would consolidate 20 communication hubs.  Four hubs would be in charge of the entire state.

The dispatch unit in Pesotum is set to close.  Springfield will take on 44 counties.

"Having smaller offices with people not in the areas they're serving is going to affect emergency response times," AFSCME representative Tara McCauley said.

But state police say the plan will streamline communications.  The four hubs have the best technology including GPS that can pinpoint the officer closest to a call.

But Steidl isn't buying it.

"No amount of money is worth the increased delays and the resulting risk to law enforcement and the public they serve," he said.

The cuts are set to happen this summer.

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