METCAD History

Below is a timeline of major METCAD milestones.

1975 – Champaign and Urbana councils approve policy and funding for consolidated police communications.  Champaign, Urbana and Unviersity of Illinois Police Departments are founding members.  This is funded by a grant from East Central Illinois Criminal Justice Commission.


August 1978 – Formal agreement for METCAD approved by founding agencies; James Munn named first director.


June 3, 1979 – METCAD begins dispatching from basement of county office building, 1905 E. Main St; 333-8911 listed as emergency number.


August 1980 – Lt. Thomas Whipple, Champaign Police, assigned to METCAD as director.


December 1981 – Champaign County sheriff's office joins METCAD.


May 1984 – County begins assessing fees on village departments for dispatching.


August 1986 – Barry Furey named as director.


1988 – FIRECOM fire dispatching consolidated with METCAD.


November 1988 – Voters approved 75-cent phone surcharge to pay for 911 dispatch service.


February 1990 – Basic 911 service begins after years of delay on 3-digit emergency number. Basic 9-1-1 provided the Telecommunicator with no name or location information.


June 1991 – Brian Melby named as director.


June 1992 – Mobile data terminal system begins allowing patrol officers to access dispatch information from squad cars.


July 1994 - Wireless 9-1-1 Phase 0 implemented for some carriers, allowing 9-1-1 to be reached form cell phones.


October 1995 – Al Anderson named as director.


May 1996 – E911 system, or Enhanced 911 implemented. Provided Telecommunicator with callers name, phone number and location.


November 1998 – Voters approve increase in phone surcharge to pay for equipment improvements; revolving 10-year capital improvement plan approved by METCAD board. New surcharge $1.50.


March 1999 – Emergency Medical Dispatching (EMD) services begin at METCAD.


November 1999 - Tiburon CAD implemented.


June 2002 - METCAD moved into newly renovated space in the same facility.  The new space provided for additional administrative offices, a larger dispatch room and a larger equipment room.  In addition, employes now have a locker room and a break room.


September 2003 - Wireless 9-1-1 Phase 1 implemented for some carriers, providing the Telecommunicator with the callers phone number and the address of the cell tower they are connected to.


June 2004 – Rick Kallmayer named as director.


September 2006 – Wireless 9-1-1 Phase II implemented for all carriers, providing Telecommunicators with the callers phone number, address of the cell tower they are connected to and GPS coordinates of their phone, when available.


May 2007 - METCAD initiates testing of the new county-wide Digital 800 Megahertz radio system to support fully interoperable communications county-wide. The system is called the METCAD Digital Interoperable Communications Environment (MDICE).


August 2007 through September 2007 - Champaign County Law Enforcement Agencies begin using MDICE. Agency cut-over was staggered over a two month period.


December 2008 - Area Fire Departments begin using MDICE.


June 2009 - METCAD celebrates 30 years of dispatching.



December 2009 – Ralph Caldwell named as director.


November 2010 - A major fiber optic line was cut on the U of I campus, disrupting 911, telephone, and internet services for thousands of residents.


March 2014 - New 9-1-1 phone system equipment used by Telecommunicators to receive 9-1-1 calls is installed at METCAD.


July 2014 - The Village of Rantoul joins METCAD, METCAD assumes responsibility for answering all 9-1-1 calls and dispatching for Rantoul Police Department and Rantoul Fire Department.


April 2015 - METCAD signs a lease with the City of Champaign for space at Champaign Fire Station 6 to be used as a backup center.


March 2016 - METCAD implements Text to 9-1-1 service allowing citizens in need of emergency assistance to request help via text message from their cell phone.


June 2017 - The electrical service entering the METCAD facility was upgraded.


November 2017 - METCAD begins utilizing Pulse Point to alert the public about full arrest medical calls near them.



August 2019 - Rennovations began to the METCAD console room. New consoles, carpeting, and lighting fixtures installed. Staff temporarily moved to the backup center located at Champaign Fire Station 6.


January 2021 - METCAD goes live with Tyler New World Enterprise CAD system.


June 2022 - One of the towers at the METCAD facility that was installed in 1980 was retired. The tower reached 235 feet to its top and served as the primary first responder radio tower from 1980 to 2007.
May 2024 - A new radio tower was assembled in Mahomet along Lake of the Woods Road. This new tower will allow for improved communications on the MDICE system and fire paging throughout the western portion of Champaign County.