Durbin Announces $1 Million for Southcom Dispatch Center's Public Safety Upgrades

MATTESON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today visited SouthCom Combined Dispatch Center to announce the $1 million in federal funding he secured through Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS)—more commonly known as an earmark—in the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) government funding bill for equipment and technology upgrades including police body cameras, squad car enhancements, police protective equipment, and the installation of emergency dispatch consoles which will provide SouthCom with increased coordination to respond to and prevent crime activity.

“Our law enforcement officers bravely venture into danger each day to ensure the safety and security of our neighborhoods,” said Durbin. “Their unwavering commitment to service often places them in harm’s way, a reality that underscores the urgency of equipping them with the necessary tools and technology to execute their duties effectively. This investment will not only bolster the safety of our officers, but also empower them to better protect and serve the people of Illinois.”

“The funding provided by Senator Durbin allows us to invest in resources that we would normally not have access to,” said Athena Barnes, Director of SouthCom. “These resources will make us all more effective in our emergency response efforts and increase our capacity to combat crime, which we believe will ultimately help to boost public safety.”

Durbin also secured a $276,000 earmark in the FY22 government funding bill for SouthCom to acquire communications systems that provide more detailed information to the public, enabling more focused policing and more expedited notifications to community fire departments.

Last year, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced four bipartisan bills to support law enforcement during National Police Week, three of which have passed the Senate and are awaiting action in the House.