City officials in south suburban Harvey are looking into why several emergency dispatchers were laid off with what they say was little warning on Wednesday.
At least five dispatchers in the Harvey Police Department say they were abruptly laid off without notice.
“I was told they are contracting our jobs out because the system is so old,” a former employee, who wishes to stay anonymous in order to protect their identity, said.
Alderman Tyrone Rogers, who represents the 6th Ward said he learned about the layoffs while watching the news.
“I just don’t understand why aldermen and council were not kept abreast of the decision,” Rogers said. “I’m talking to legislative counsel to see if this is legal.“
The city of Harvey had a plan in place with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office to handle 9-1-1 services starting next month but part of the deal called for no dispatchers to be laid off, according to Rogers.
“It was clearly stated to us that dispatchers would not be let go. No one would lose their jobs, they would be put in other areas,” said 4th Ward Alderman Tracy Key.
Both Key and Rogers say the current dispatch center is being manned by a third party and assured residents' calls would be answered if they called in the event of an emergency.
The Mayor of Harvey could not be reached for comment.