New joint dispatch center planned for Morgan Co.

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JACKSONVILLE -- Construction is set to begin early next year on a new joint dispatch center to serve all of Morgan County.

The Jacksonville city council approved the joint dispatch center during its Monday night meeting. The new center will combine the county's three current dispatch operations -- at Passavant Area Hospital, the Morgan County Sheriff's office, and the Jacksonville police department -- into one center in early 2016. The new center will be housed inside the City of Jacksonville municipal center.

Current employees at the three existing dispatch centers will have the opportunity to work at the new joint dispatch center. Twelve dispatch positions are currently planed for the new center. County leaders say the goal is to enhance the opportunity for employment, not to eliminate positions.

The overall cost of construction on the new dispatch center is estimated at around $688,000, most of which will be covered by the Morgan County emergency telephone services board.

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