Of all the services provided by local municipalities around the world, public safety is arguably the most recognizable and widely supported. Everyone wants to feel that they are safe and that someone will respond to assist them in the case of an emergency. The Village of Winnetka traditionally has provided fire, EMS, and police protection to its residences since it was established, however, over the years, these Village departments have started to provide service to additional areas immediately outside the village boundaries through a series of public service contracts. To assist with coordinating response efforts in these service agreement areas, the fire and police departments asked the village GIS department for assistance.
While several of these contracts are for police services in unincorporated areas south of the village limits, the fire department has the added responsibility of providing service to the Village of Kenilworth, a small municipality located southeast of Winnetka. For years, this area has either not been mapped or has been poorly mapped, making it difficult to plan efficient response routes. To help resolve these issues, the GIS department created several data layers for Kenilworth that allow for more effective response mapping.
Since the Village of Kenilworth is not part of the GIS Consortium, much of the base data for this area was provided by Cook County, including roads, parcels, and an initial street address range line. The other information used to develop this data, such as individual addresses and street names, was provided by a combination of the Winnetka fire and police departments. Using these two sources, a Kenilworth street name table and an initial address database were developed. While these two data layers do not complete the Kenilworth dataset, they allow for additional information to be developed in the Village database, such as a more accurate street address range feature class.
While this service area data is being developed to assist the overall public safety efforts of the Village of Winnetka, ultimately, the police and fire department will use it to accomplish different goals. For the police department, since they provide response assistance to Kenilworth and, often, travel through the village when responding to calls in other communities, the street address range data will be inputted into an existing CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) system to provide responding officers with both village address ranges and information on how the streets are aligned to help improve response times. For the fire department, since they are the primary response agency for Kenilworth, the individual resident and commercial property addresses are critical for pinpointing the exact location of an emergency call. A detailed map of Kenilworth, including streets, parcel lines, and individual addresses, will be created to provide the department with accurate property information prior to going out on a call.
For both departments, the data developed by the GIS system will help to improve their ability to respond more efficiently and with more certainty regarding the location of an emergency call. This leads to better public safety services for the Village of Kenilworth and a more reliable system for the Village of Winnetka in responding to an emergency event.