Grant to Upgrade DeKalb Co. First Responder Communication System

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DeKalb County received a grant of nearly half a million dollars to upgrade its communications system for first responders.

The current system is about 50 years behind schedule. While it works, if it breaks they won’t be able to fix it because they no longer produce the parts.

“We are a bad storm or love at first sight due to the shutdown of our entire communications system,” Sheriff Nick Welden said. “We are working in 2021 with equipment from the 1970s.”

This is why Sheriff Welden and other first responders felt it was crucial to upgrade their system. After months of hard work, the county received nearly half a million dollars in grants to make it happen.

“To receive this grant, that’s right. Praise the Lord! It’s amazing!” said Sheriff Welden.

The new system is expected to reduce response times and even save taxpayer dollars.

“We are able to reduce a lot of things internally, down to filling out a report, coming to the office to record this information. We are able to keep more deputies on the road,” Sheriff Welden explained. “You don’t look for things that aren’t there. You save time. You focus on top priorities to help those who need it most.”

The new system will also be able to share information with each of the county’s first responders. This way all first responders are on the same page.

“We know exactly what’s going on in the next town, just like the fire department if they are needed, the ambulance service, the rescue team. This will reduce the time needed to save lives,” Welden explained.

He will also be able to provide general information about previous calls to a specific location. This way, first responders know what to expect.

Sheriff Welden says they expect to start seeing some of the grant money and parts of the new communications system in January.


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