Frequently Asked Questions

What is Tri-Com?

Tri-Com was formed in 1976 by the cities of Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles to provide emergency communications services to those communities.

Is Tri-Com Privately Owned?

No.  Tri-Com is a cooperative arrangement voluntarily established* by its Original Members (Cities of St Charles, Geneva and Batavia) pursuant to an Intergovernmental Agreement (“IGA”) authorized by Article VII, Section 1, of the Constitution of the State of Illinois, 1970, the Intergovernmental Cooperation Act, 5 ILCS 220/2 (1) et seq. of the Illinois Compiled Statutes for the purpose of providing communication services for police, fire, ambulance and other emergency communication systems for the mutual benefit of the members of the venture; to provide such services on a contract basis to other public agencies; and to provide a forum for discussion, study, development and implementation of recommendations of mutual interests regarding communications, information systems, statistical matters and criminal justice, fire safety, emergency medical and telephone emergency request systems, public safety information communication and data processing within portions of Kane, DuPage and Kendall Counties, Illinois.
*Intergovernmental Agreement dated June 7, 1976
Tri-Com cannot levy a tax and Tri-Com cannot float a bond. All Tri-Com employees are considered municipal employees and belong to the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.

If Tri-Com Cannot Float Bonds or Levy a Tax, How Does it Receive its Funding?

Tri-Com is funded in many different ways. The main source of our Operational funding comes from the Cities of Geneva, Batavia and St. Charles. Tri-Com also receives lease fees from agencies that lease space on our tower. Tri-Com also receives wireless surcharge money, support from the Kane County ETSB and Tri-Com collects dispatch fees from Elburn Police, Elburn Fire, South Elgin Police, Sugar Grove Police, Sugar Grove Fire, North Aurora Fire, Waubonsee Campus Police and Tri-City Ambulance (non-voting members). This funding allows Tri-Com to not only maintain its day to day operations, but to be on the cutting edge of technology for 9-1-1 communications.

Do You Know Where I'm Calling From When I Dial 9-1-1 From My Cell Phone?

Tri-Com is Wireless Phase II compliant which means we can locate your GPS equipped phone within 50 to 1000 feet of the location you are calling from as long as you are calling from a cellular phone that is GPS equipped and as long as the GPS function is turned on and not blocked. We use an automated mapping system that enables us to plot latitude longitude information when the carriers send the information to us. 

Do You Know Where I'm Calling From If I Have Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) Phone Service?

Unfortunately, VOIP technology does not enable us to see where you are calling from. If we are delivered location information, it is generally the address that the device is registered to and it has no bearing on where the phone is actually located. The phone call could originate from another city or state and we would only (possibly) have access to the address registered by the customer. For a detailed description of VOIP technology, view this article on Wikipedia. Click Here

Can I Take a Tour of Tri-Com?

Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate individual tours. We do provide tours to community groups such as scouts, civic associations, etc. To arrange for a group tour please contact the Deputy Director at (630) 232-4739.

Will Tri-Com Provide a Speaker for my Group or Meeting?

Yes. With sufficient notice we will be happy to provide a speaker for your group or meeting to talk about 9-1-1 and Tri-Com. Please contact the Deputy Director at (630) 232-4739.

Radio Frequencies

Tri-Com operates on 3 UHF and 2 VHF channels, and 1 channel on a digital trunking system along with several tactical frequencies which include voice and digital communications. We also maintain operations on several inter-agency VHF/UHF frequencies as authorized by the FCC. 

Can I Hook Up a Pre-Recorded Message to 9-1-1 (i.e. elevator phone or home security system)?

No. It is illegal to have a pre-recorded message hooked up to a 9-1-1 line.  All pre-recorded messages originating from elevator phones should come from a 7-digit emergency line.  Click Here

State Law regarding ALI for 911. Sections: 726.205 & 727.205 - For Public Use   Section726.205   Section727.205