In the early 1970s, a Hillside, Illinois police officer was kidnapped and murdered by a group who had just committed an armed robbery. The officer, who was unaware of the robbery, stopped their vehicle for a routine traffic violation. He radioed the traffic stop to his dispatcher but, because of channel congestion, was never heard. Local, state, and federal government agencies then worked together to create smaller radio networks. DU-COMM was created to provide centralized communications for the northeast and northwest quadrants of DuPage County. DU-COMM a.k.a. DuPage Public Safety Communications is an intergovernmental agency formed in 1975 to provide emergency communications services to police, fire, and emergency medical departments. DU-COMM serves 38 agencies covering 800,000+ residents of DuPage County.
Staffing - Organizational Chart
DU-COMM has three (3) departments. The largest is the Operations Department headed by the Deputy Director Operations. This department is responsible for answering 9-1-1 calls and dispatching police, fire, and EMS for our member agencies. It is staffed by DU-COMM's 68 Telecommunicators. Each shift has a Communications Manager, and a Communications Supervisor assigned to it. Additionally, a Training/QA Manager oversees all agency training. There are also three (3) part-time Alarm Operator positions to handle the over 5,000 direct municipal alarms received at DU-COMM.
The second department is Support Services. This department is responsible for maintaining the communications infrastructure utilized by the Telecommunicators and agencies we serve. The Support Services Department is overseen by the Deputy Director of Support Services. The three (3) full-time Radio Technicians report to the Technical Services Manager. The MIS Manager oversees the IT infrastructure and systems and is supported by two (2) system technologists. There is also a Systems Coordinator who supports special projects and facilities.
The third department is Administration. This department is composed of the Finance/HR Manager, Finance clerk, Office Assistant, Executive Secretary, and the Executive Director.
Whenever a citizen needs to see a police officer, firefighter or paramedic, whether it is for a stray dog running loose in the area or a major traffic accident, we take that call via the 9-1-1 lines. We average over 250,000 phone calls for service per year, which is almost 800 calls per day!
In October of 1992 ground was broken for our current facility. By August of 1994 the building was completed and our technical staff began the installation of the equipment necessary for dispatch. In September of 1995 DU-COMM began full operation in our current facility.
The building is 12,700 square feet and cost 3 million dollars to build and equip. The west end of the building is built into a hill to help protect it from severe weather conditions. On top of the hill is our 300-foot communications tower.
The 2,600 square foot Operations Center sits on a handicapped accessible raised computer floor topped by static resistant tile. The walls are covered with acoustic absorbing material. We currently have 12 police and 8 fire console positions with an additional 2 training positions and 2 supervisor positions.
DU-COMM operates on a variety of communications systems. In 2012 we began moving our communications onto the statewide STARCOM21 system as part of the DuPage ETSB Interoperable Radio System.
DU-COMM is the dispatch center for MABAS Division 12 and Division 16. During major incidents MABAS allows DU-COMM to communicates with, and receive assistance from, many non-DU-COMM fire agencies.