The Board of Trustees in the Village of Wheeling recently approved a five-year agreement to take over emergency police dispatch services for the City of Des Plaines. Both parties are excited stepping forward, especially since both communities are members of GIS Consortium. The GIS Consortium is a group of local communities working together to develop geographic information systems (GIS) solutions that effectively reduce cost and risk.
GIS is currently assisting dispatch and police in both communities by supplying address ranges, jurisdiction information, and mapping incident locations. This GIS information is being shared with Wheeling’s Police Department to make their dispatchers and first responders more familiar with the City of Des Plaines. Familiarizing dispatch with an entire new community can be a daunting task, but the tools provided by GIS aid in the transition. Custom GIS layers were created for Wheeling’s Police Department that are displaying police beats, road ownership information, parolee and sex offender locations within Des Plaines. Information that would once take days or months to become familiar with is available instantaneously through GIS.
The use of GIS technology has allowed the Police Departments in both communities to continue their obligation to assist residents, all while making the service more affordable and less of a burden to maintain.