Tazewell County covers 658 square miles, located in the central region of the State of Illinois. As of 2015, it had a population of 134,800. Its county seat and largest city is Pekin. Tazewell is pronounced with a short "a", to rhyme with "razz" rather than "raze". A Google Map may be viewed Here. A Wikipedia description may be viewed at this Location.
Tazewell County is bordered on the northeast by the Illinois river and is adjacent to the City of Peoria. It is accessible by Interstate Routes 74, 474 and 155. The City of Bloomington is accessible to the east on Route 74 and has high-speed rail to Chicago. Bloomington is the home of Illinois State University (ISU - Normal) and Illinois Wesleyan University.
Tazewell County Consolidated Communications (TC3) was founded in December of 2017 as an autonomous agency through Inter-governmental Agreement of the following municipal and county governments:
- City of East Peoria, Illinois
- City of Morton, Illinois
- City of Pekin, Illinois
- City of Washington, Illinois
- Tazewell County, Illinois
- Tazewell County Emergency Telephone System Board
The process was a result of a change in Illinois law requiring counties to reduce the number of 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) by 50%. For Tazewell County, that meant a reduction from 4 to 2. Prior to the change in law, PSAPs were operated by the East Peoria Police Department, Morton Police Department, Washington Police Department and a combined PSAP operation called TAZCOM serving the City of Pekin and the Tazewell County Sheriff.
The process was initiated by the Tazewell County Emergency Telephone System Board (ETSB), the governmental body defined by law to oversee 9-1-1 services and distribute funds collected as a surcharge from telephone bills. The ETSB provides technology and support services to each PSAP. The ETSB commissioned a Consolidation Report in 2017 to identify the process of consolidation, it’s impact on Tazewell County public safety agencies and potential costs
The approach to the formation of TC3 takes into account the need to have a workable and live backup mechanism should the services at any PSAP be compromised. In many cases, counties operate only 1 PSAP and rely on an adjacent county or large city to receive the overflow 9-1-1 calls or all calls should the PSAP be disabled. The backup PSAP would require communications technology and the space for personnel to continue operations. Very few PSAPs have the capabilities for full backup operation of another large PSAP.
For this reason, TC3 will maintain 2 fully equipped 9-1-1 centers to provide complete mutual operation capabilities for Tazewell County. Both PSAPs are operated and staffed by a single administrative organization. This method provides the most efficiency, consistency and assurance of quality in 9-1-1 services.
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