As of June 19th, all communications for DeKalb county have switched over to DeKalb Central. The individual PSAPs for the county, Auburn and Garrett are no longer in use.
- All tactical communications for every agency is now conducted on the Safe-T 800 system. - County volunteer fire departments as well as Garrett Fire are still tonned out on the old VHF frequency. - Auburn fire is now on the 800 system, but continues to be toned out on their old VHF repeater. - County EMS is now on the 800 system, but continues to be toned out on the old EMS VHF frequency. - Auburn PD in now on the 800 system. They have decommissioned their EDACS system and it's now off the air. - County Sheriff dispatch no longer simulcasts on the old VHF repeater, however, the repeater is still online.
The new NON-emergency telephone number for DeKalb Central Communications is: (260) 333-7911
Like most counties in Indiana, DeKalb has seperate dispatch centers for county and city communications. New laws are now requiring there to be only one Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) per county by December 31, 2014. As a result, once separate agencies that had their own way of doing things will now be required to work together with a single cooperative dispatch facility. Differing radio frequencies, radio language, call signs, paper trails, dispatch criteria, etc. must now be combined into one coordinated team effort. The power struggles over which part of the dispatch systems can stay and which can go are overwhelming. The ultimate decision was to build a separate dispatch facility since no one agency could meet the new standards.
The DeKalb County Central Communications Center will be a 6500 square foot building with all of the requirements to handle the county's dispatch needs for the next 20 years. It is being designed per NFPA 1221 and FEMA 361 to withstand an F3 tornado. Its fire protection system will use inert gas to avoid damage to electronic equipment. Central Communications Centers are generally built to withstand major environmental and potential terrorist threats. Consequently, they are designed more like a bunker than a normal building. They are completely self-contained with back-up systems in place for most any emergency. Only authorized personnel are allowed in and there is no public access.
The new dispatch center will be ready for dispatchers to move in by February 2012. The new facility is located on CR 427, just north of CR 34, directly across from DeKalb High School. Paul Brewer will direct the new communications center. The leadership team will also include Angela Grogg as deputy director and John Ober as information services specialist. The building and equipment have been estimated to cost 6.8 million dollars.
The table below outlines the communication systems in use by the various agencies located throughout the county in their current state. Efforts have been put forth through grants and other various funding to provide the equipment to transition most agencies to the Hoosier Operation Safe-T system which is an 800 MHz Motorola Type II SmartZone Omnilink system. The Safe-T system will become the defacto means of communication with the new Central Dispatch Center.