March 30, 2022
By: Dwayne Page
The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department has been awarded a $264,446 Facilities Confinement Grant through the Tennessee Department of Health to purchase new patrol cars, a booking system, HVAC units, and laptops for the cruisers with no local match requirement for the county.
County Mayor Tim Stribling and Sheriff Patrick Ray made a joint announcement about the grant Monday.
The grant award is part of the Tennessee Department of Health’s mission to reduce and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in confinement facilities such as prisons and jails in Tennessee. This funding is offered in partnership with the Center for Disease Control and the United States Department of Justice.
Stribling said he was made aware of the grant opportunity last fall by the Upper Cumberland Development District and informed Sheriff Ray.
“I was contacted by the Upper Cumberland Development District that there was a Facilities Confinement Grant that we could apply for so I spoke to DeKalb County Planner Tommy Lee of UCDD and got a little more information and then contacted Sheriff Ray and asked if he would be interested in it. I forwarded him the email that they (UCDD) had sent me. It just so happened that we both had a meeting at the Upper Cumberland Development District at the same time. We were at the same meeting. I asked him (Sheriff Ray) after the meeting was over if he would mind going down the hall with me and speaking with Mr. Lee and his staff with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. We did and found out more about the grant and what all we could apply for and that there was no match required by the county. I felt it was something we should take advantage of so Sheriff Ray and Chief Deputy Robert Patrick, who was also there, asked questions about what all they could apply for,” said County Mayor Stribling.
“The grant is about the impact of COVID-19 in the Jail and the Sheriff’s Department both and what we applied for were things that could combat that,” said Sheriff Ray.
“With this grant we were able to get four patrol cars, and a booking system that we had talked to the County Commission about last year that we were going to have to replace because the booking system was about to be obsolete,” Ray explained.
“We will also receive two HVAC units for the Jail Annex, and 30 laptop computers for our patrol cars where the deputies can get online from their cars and look at the new booking system to see prior bookings and if they need to identify someone, they can do that. It also allows us to go paperless with our reports. We can go in and fill out offense reports and we can assign detectives reports off this booking system. It is a great opportunity for us to get things we needed and by getting this grant, it will save local taxpayer dollars. I appreciate Mayor Stribling thinking of us at the Sheriff’s Department and the Jail in order for us to get this grant. It’s stuff that we really needed,” said Sheriff Ray.
“The grant was through the Tennessee Department of Health and we’re very fortunate to have the Upper Cumberland Development District to help us write grants,” Mayor Stribling explained.
“Anytime there’s a grant available, whether it’s through them or not, they are always ready and willing to help us write the grant. They were a big part in us getting the grant and I felt like it was something DeKalb County should take advantage of.”