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Chicomm Blog

Body Cameras and Public Safety

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray on Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Preparing Your Communications System for Changes in Illinois law

With high‑profile law enforcement cases in the news and a new law requiring Illinois law enforcement departments to utilize officer‑worn body cameras, it’s important to understand the evolving law and how it affects public safety and 911 communications.

Tags: Public Safety Communications

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Public safety is at the heart of SouthEast Emergency Communications (SEECOM), a consolidated emergency 911 communications center located in Crystal Lake, Illinois, that serves a rural and suburban population.

After SEECOM experienced challenges and additional expenses connected with its radio tower communications, the consolidated dispatch center found an opportunity to upgrade its communication system to STARCOM21 with the help of Chicago Communications.

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School security is always top of mind for district leaders and staff — and challenges are compounded when the campus is spread across multiple buildings spanning miles.

How do administrators, security staff, teachers, and other employees stay in touch on a day‑to‑day basis or in case of an emergency? 

In two Illinois school districts — Barrington 200 and District 214, the second‑largest school district in the state — leaders, and staff have overcome communications challenges by utilizing a seamless communications infrastructure that provides safety and security — allowing them to focus on the success of students.

These are two examples of how to build a successful campus communications system.

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Employee Spotlight: Barb Wittenkeller

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray on Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Like many members of the Chicago Communications team, Barb Wittenkeller has been with the company for decades, starting her career here in 2002.

Barb likes to keep things organized, and believes in prioritizing customer service. “I will help a customer right away, and I make sure their issue is handled, whatever it may be,” she says.

Keeping Things Organized

Barb spends a lot of time handling invoicing. She’s also the person who works with the sales team on orders and service billing, and greets customers on the phone and in person. She’s also responsible for entering credit card payments and arranging electronic deposits.

She keeps Chicago Communications offices working smoothly by ordering and maintaining office supply inventory, and is also one the company’s two notary publics.

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When it comes to secure communications, two‑way radios have an edge over cellphones. But hacking is an unfortunate reality in today’s world, as the online world has experienced some high‑level attacks by experienced hackers (Think Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn, NASA). Because of these dangers, public safety departments using two‑way radios need to be aware of the dangers of hacking — and learn how to avoid it.

Tags: Two Way Radios, Digital Two-Way Radios

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I see a lot of 911 communications dispatch centers in the course of my work, and some function better than others. When attention is paid to the design and layout of dispatch center furniture, that makes a positive difference in efficiency and comfort.

The furniture and layout of a dispatch center can almost always be improved. There are techniques for arranging dispatch center furniture, two-way radios, monitors, and phone systems to help emergency responders do their jobs.

Tags: Public Safety Communications

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Employee Spotlight: Emory Ludtke

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray on Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Talk about experience. 

Shop Supervisor Emory Ludtke has spent his entire adult life working in communications, beginning with military service at age 17. 

He has been with Chicago Communications for 30 years since the company acquired MetroCom in 1991. 

Emory speaks with pride about the team of experienced technicians that he leads at Chicago Communications, calling them “the BEST co‑workers around.”

Tags: Employee Spotlight

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Healthcare workers are our heroes. Throughout the ages, and especially through the pandemic, they’ve stayed on the frontlines tending to the sick and managing unprecedented levels of stress and grief. We salute these essential workers who put others’ health above their own. 

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Investing in two‑way radios is a smart and responsible decision, whether you’re in manufacturing, education, healthcare or hospitality. Even with the sophistication of the technology, it’s common to think devices like two‑way radios will work as needed for your specific industry right out of the box.

While some programming can be done in‑house, in most cases, you will need a licensed two‑way radio services provider to do the programming in order to have a functioning communications solution. With two‑way radios, programming is everything. It’s how you teach your radios to work for you. A single button on a two‑way radio can be programmed to do dozens of different things.

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Principal Profile: Kurt Hessler

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray on Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Kurt Hessler, a principal/owner at Chicago Communications welcomes everyone — customers, clients, and employees — into the Chicago Communications family. He has been a member of the Chicago Communications leadership team since 2004.

As the person responsible for sales and service, he makes sure that the company represents the right products from the right partners, and treats each customer as an individual. He takes pride in making sure that everyone gets their needs met and receives training for hassle‑free communications.

“It’s all about relationships,” says Kurt. “Treat each customer as if they're your only customer; like you would want to be treated.”

Tags: Pointers from the Principals, Employee Spotlight

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