DECATUR, Ga. – DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond announced that the county has invested $8 million to purchase public safety vehicles and emergency equipment. The funding was generated from the one-cent Special Purpose Local Sales Tax (SPLOST) approved by voters in November 2017.
“DeKalb County has invested initial SPLOST funding to improve public safety and provide a higher level of emergency service to our residents and business owners,” said CEO Thurmond. “The addition of new public safety vehicles and equipment will improve public safety, decrease response times and deliver significant cost savings to the county.”
The DeKalb County Police Department purchased 50 police patrol vehicles equipped with advanced safety features and technologies that allow full integration with the county’s emergency dispatch center and officer body-worn cameras.
Expected to be in service by the end of September, each 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe costs approximately $61,000 and will be used as officer take-home vehicles to increase community visibility and reduce crime. Additionally, the new patrol vehicles feature push bumpers, which allows officers to remove disabled vehicles from roadways to expedite traffic flow.
The county will purchase an additional 50 patrol vehicles next year.
“The purchase of this much-needed emergency equipment supports DeKalb County first responders’ ability to effectively and safely do their jobs,” said Joseph “Jack” H. Lumpkin, deputy chief operating officer of public safety.
The DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department purchased 10 rapid response vehicles fully equipped to respond to emergency medical calls and fire suppression. Rapid response vehicles are smaller and are less expensive to operate than larger fire trucks.
Each fully outfitted vehicle costs $190,000, nearly 30 percent lower than the cost of a larger fire truck. Rapid response vehicles will capture approximately 3,500 calls annually. The full fleet of rapid response vehicles will be in service by March 2019, with two added to each county fire station.
The fire department also purchased 313 Motorola two-way radios specifically designed for firefighting situations. The radios include improved safety features such as bigger buttons for gloved hands, brighter color for better visibility and Bluetooth capability.
DeKalb County will receive an estimated $388 million in SPLOST revenue over the next six years to improve county roads, infrastructure, and public safety. Additional public safety improvements include upgrading the fire radio system, repairing police precincts and fire stations and designing a new public safety training facility.