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New Illinois law means fewer emergency dispatch centers

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BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) _ A new Illinois law aimed at consolidating local government services will significantly reduce the number of separate emergency dispatch centers in parts of Illinois.

The Belleville News-Democrat (bit.ly/1KP931l ) reports that the law requires counties with at least 250,000 residents to cut by half the number of 911 call centers by July 2017.

There are eight such “public safety answering points” in St. Clair County and 16 in neighboring Madison County.

The state also plans to build 911 centers in 10 counties that now lack those facilities.

Madison County 911 director Terence McFarland says he expects the change will result in an undetermined number of job cuts.