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Illinois State Police Consolidations…

…Ashkum, Pontiac Targeted to Close

SPRINGFIELD — The Quinn administration is moving forward with plans to consolidate state police dispatching offices.

And…Ashkum and Pontiac are among those in the plan to close.

The plan, which calls for downsizing telecommunications operations from 21 offices spread across the state to four more centralized facilities, will leave Illinois with the fewest number of dispatching centers of any of its neighbors.

According to a review of states surrounding Illinois, the four remaining state police dispatch offices are fewer than what is in place in Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Kentucky.

But, in Indiana, where state police officials pared down their dispatching offices to six in a similar move three years ago, a spokesman said the transition has been smooth.

Sgt. Jerry Goodin said “It just took getting used to doing something different.”

Under the plan announced by Gov. Pat Quinn in February, the far-flung telecommunications centers are being consolidated into facilities in Sterling, Des Plaines, DuQuoin and Springfield.

The changes are already in the works.

Dispatching offices in Pittsfield and Macomb have already been closed and relocated to Springfield.

Offices in Effingham, Carmi and Ullin are in the process of being closed and moved to the DuQuoin.

Other offices on the chopping block include those in Pontiac, East Moline, Metamora, Pesotum and Ashkum.

(Bloomington Pantagraph)