Senate Bill 1839 allows a rate increase for 911 service to defray costs associated with 911 system consolidation required under the Emergency Telephone System Act. | Brian Jackson/ Sun-Times

A call for help on 911 services

SHARE A call for help on 911 services
SHARE A call for help on 911 services

911 is the backbone of public safety, and Illinois’ back is breaking. On behalf of the sheriffs, the chiefs of police, and all the men and women of public safety in Illinois, we encourage Gov. Bruce Rauner to approve SB 1839 [to amend the Emergency Telephone Act]. Without that approval, the system will be unfunded at the close of business June 30, 2017. It’s unthinkable that someone in Illinois might dial 911 after June 30 and nobody would be there to take the emergency call.

Legislation passed in 2015 requires the consolidation of 911 systems and upgrading technology to help our telecommunicators deliver the most professional and expedited service to our communities. Our emergency dispatch centers are required to implement location services, receive text messages and automatic crash alerts within the next three years. None of this comes without a cost and that cost spread across all users is the fairest and most efficient model for delivery.

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

The goal is to develop a fully functional 911 system that meets the demands of ever-changing telecommunications technology in a digital world, while being accessible anytime, anywhere, from any device in Illinois. Providing 911 services for all members of our community simply cannot be done by keeping old, costly and failing technology in place.

We firmly believe the proposed revenue provided in SB 1839 for 911 allows for much needed upgrades to outdated, flawed and ineffective technology — including landline phone services using copper wire — in 911 centers statewide. The surcharge increase also addresses the rising cost of salaries, technology and resources required to effectively deliver 911 services across Illinois.

The time is now for Illinois to move forward, not backward, in protecting the citizens we all serve.

Doug Maier, sheriff, White County, and president, Illinois Sheriffs’ Association

James R. Kruger Jr., chief, Oak Brook Police Department, and president, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police

Rauner owns “mess in Springfield”

There isn’t enough duct tape in the world to pull together a logical argument for retaining Gov. Rauner for a second term. Perhaps his copywriters missed this, but the “mess in Springfield” he refers to actually became worse on his watch. It’s his chaos now so saying we’ve got to “work together” after three years without as much as a budget is disingenuous at best. And illogical at worst. We need a governor that’s way smarter than that.

Kay Catlin, St. Charles

Make “green jobs” part of Dem platform

The Democratic gubernatorial candidates vying to oust the Republican incumbent should ardentlyaccentuate the creation of “green jobs” in Cook County and throughoutall ofIllinois. We need more citizens to plant trees, to advance recycling efforts and to beautify parks, nature havens, wildlife habitats, prairies, wetlands, forests, rivers and streams. Making our state moregreen, pristine, wildlife and ecologically friendly can help to employ residents, improve the environment and engender more tourism to enhance revenues.

Brien Comerford, Glenview

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