On October 31, 2023, Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt received notification that Dodge County has been awarded a grant totaling $375,470.15 from the State of Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs. This cost covers 90% of the funding for an upgrade to the sheriff’s office Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), commonly known as the dispatch center. There is a 10% match required for this grant totaling $41,718.91. Earlier this year, the sheriff’s office was advised that two of its dispatch station radio consoles have reached end of life and will need to be replaced soon to ensure the sheriff’s office can properly receive 911 calls and dispatch appropriate resources as needed by our citizens. The cost to replace the equipment is the full cost of this grant and would have been solely a need to be covered by Dodge County tax levy had this grant not been received. These two stations serve as backup consoles for use during major incidents, or when dispatch station operations need to take place off-site from the main dispatch center. Not all that long ago, an evacuation of the main dispatch center was nearly required due to a major gas main break in the Juneau area. Had we completed the evacuation, our backup dispatch center would have continued operations receiving 911 calls and phone calls without interruption. This backup is necessary as no one ever wants a delayed response to an emergency 911 call. With the acquisition of a replacement incident command vehicle, as approved by an overwhelming majority vote of the Dodge County Board, the new radio and phone consoles are scheduled for installation in said vehicle very soon. These new consoles will supply dispatchers with full dispatch capabilities at any major incident where the Dodge County incident command vehicle is deployed. The newly acquired vehicle replaces an old trailer that lacked the technology and the space needed to be useful in most major incidents. This grant significantly reduces the cost of equipping our recently replaced incident command vehicle. Originally expected to cost approximately $1.3 million dollars new, Dodge County successfully acquired a used vehicle purchased at a cost of $87,000. This grant award will fund a majority of the upfit costs needed for a fully functioning command vehicle that meets the needs of our emergency responders. The state PSAP grant, as it is in place today, is a grant that the sheriff, in his position with the Badger State Sheriff’s Association, was able to advocate for as part of prior state budgets. In 2023, the Federal PSAP grant awarded $2,182,500 in grants in round 1 and $487,800 in round 2. In 2023 the State PSAP grant awarded $5.72 million to agencies around the state. The citizens of Dodge County can rest assured that both emergency and non-emergency phone calls will continue to be answered when they need us most.