The DeKalb County Office of Public Safety is one of the first large law enforcement outfits in Georgia to join a wireless networking system to improve its crime fighting efforts.
The nationwide public safety broadband network, FirstNet, is designed to give first responders “a reliable and highly secure connection to needed information.”
The network is built by AT&T in public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority, which was established by Congress.
“DeKalb County has embraced technology to aid crime reduction efforts and improve public safety,” said Joseph “Jack” H. Lumpkin, deputy chief operating officer of public safety. “FirstNet will enhance the county’s public safety response by providing unprecedented coverage, connectivity and interaction during everyday situations and emergency events.”
The office of public safety includes the county’s departments for police, fire, animal control, 911, emergency management and the medical examiner.
As a subscriber to FirstNet, the agencies will use the system to share data and information in real-time, such as criminal records, police database information, photos and surveillance video.
FirstNet will complement DeKalb County’s recent technology upgrades such as the new E911 software system, which went live in April. Provided by TriTech Software Systems, the $8.8 million computer-aided dispatch system has improved how the county’s 911 center dispatches police, fire rescue, emergency medical services, Marshal's Office and the Sheriff’s Department.
DeKalb began migrating to the FirstNet broadband network platform in January 2018, with the DeKalb County Police Department becoming the first police department in Georgia to subscribe to the system. The county completed full implementation in July, and is also working with its 12 municipalities on adopting FirstNet countywide.
Staff writer Denver Ellison contributed to this story.
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