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DeKalb County Sheriff launches “Shining Star” database program for first responders

Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 10:40 PM CDT
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DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - The Shining Star program was initiated; by DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden.

It’s a database for first responders and law enforcement to get information about anyone with special needs who are signed up. Welden said it took two years of research to get the program off the ground and hits close to home for him.

“My wife and I travel a lot with our daughter, who has special needs. She has Angelman syndrome, and she is unable to walk or talk and can only communicate with us on things she needs, and anyone else won’t be able to,” said Welden.

The program will provide first responders with vital information for anyone enrolled. It includes an ID card with caregiver or parent contact and a sticker; to place on the vehicle.

Sheriff Welden said all medical information will be stored in the database at the office.

“When first responders’ respond to an accident scene or a call at home, you are updated on what is taking place before you even get there,” said Welden.

The program will also serve people who may have mental health issues, which Sheriff Welden said will benefit law enforcement during emergencies.

“All across the country, we’ve seen where mental health has played a factor in incidents ending tragically, and this here is a better way to prepare yourself,” said Welden.

Representative Nataniel Ledbetter is working with Welden to create a car tag, which he says will help fund the program across the state.

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