Two appointments to the city’s Emergency Telephone System Board are up for review today by the Council’s Public Safety Committee.
The five-member, mayor-appointed board helps oversees the city’s 911 emergency call system, which receives approximately 5 million calls a year. The board coordinates and supervises any planned upgrades or maintenance to the call system, in addition to depositing revenue generated from a $3.90 per month surcharge on landlines to a fund that supports the call system. In 2015, when the city raised the surcharge from $2.50, it generated $123 million, a $25.8 million increase over 2014, according to the city’s 2015 Annual Financial Report.
Mayor Emanuel has asked the committee to appoint First Deputy Fire Commissioner Richard C. Ford II to the board. Ford, a 30-year veteran of the city’s Fire Department and a native of the city’s Chatham neighborhood on the South Side, was promoted to the post last month, according to the Chicago Tribune. Ford will fill a vacancy on the board for a term expiring on July 1, 2020.
The reappointment of Benjamin Dieterich, an assistant budget director for the city, to the board is also up for consideration. Dieterich was first appointed to the seat in 2013. Pending Council approval, his term will extend to 2020, as well.
Other than the appointment of Daniel Casey, a deputy director for the city’s Office of Emergency Management, to the board in May 2015, there haven’t been new appointments to the Emergency Telephone system board since 2013.