DeKalb County, Georgia is using $8 million in sales tax funding to purchase safety vehicles and equipment, according to an article from Decaturish.  The sales tax was approved by voters in November, 2017, for infrastructure improvements.  The purchases to be made include:

  • 50 vehicles for the police department, which feature advanced safety technologies, as well as push bumpers that will allow the officers to quickly remove disabled vehicles from roadways.  Each 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe has a price tag of $61,000.  Officers will be taking the vehicles home with them when they are done with their shift, in order to increase visibility within the community and reduce crime, the article stated.  An additional 50 vehicles will be purchased for the department next year.
  • 10 rapid response vehicles for the DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department.  The rapid response vehicles, which will come fully outfitted at a cost of $190,000 apiece, are smaller and less expensive to purchase and operate than full-sized fire trucks.  Each of the county's five fire stations will receive two of the rapid response vehicles, and they are expected to be in service by March, 2019.  They are expected to be used for about 3,500 calls each year, the article noted.
  • 313 Motorola two-way radios will be purchased for county firefighters.  The radios have brighter displays, are Bluetooth capable, and feature larger buttons so that the firefighters can operate them while wearing gloves.
Though the county's public safety departments were the first to receive funding from the sales tax, the sales tax collected is expected to fund other infrastructure projects as well, including the repair of roads.  The county CEO explained that public safety was chosen to get the first wave of funding so that the county could provide a higher level of service to citizens.  The additional vehicles and radios are expected to decrease response times and deliver significant cost savings to the county, he said.
Brian Greer

Written by Brian Greer