Chief Brandon Barnhill

Police Chief

Police Chief Brandon L. Barnhill began his law enforcement career in 1995 with the Murray Police Department, before transferring to the Paducah Police Department in 1998. With Paducah, Barnhill has served and supervised in all areas of the department as a Patrolman, Detective, Sergeant, Captain, and Assistant Chief. Barnhill was a member of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team rising through the ranks as a Team Leader and, subsequently, the Team Commander. In May 2010, Barnhill was promoted to the rank of Assistant Chief where he was responsible for the Operations Division, including formulation and control of the annual budget, development and dissemination of police directives, coordination of training regimens, and the fostering of communication among the various facets of the department.  In September 2013, the Paducah Board of Commissioners appointed him as Chief.  A pinning ceremony was held October 4, 2013.  

Chief Barnhill holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Murray State University and a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Andrew Jackson University. Chief Barnhill graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School for Government, Leadership in Crises seminar in early 2015.  In 2007, he completed the Administrative Officers Course/Executive Program, through the Southern Police Institute. Barnhill is a graduate of the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Course, Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Executive Development Program, and is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police and the Law Enforcement Executive Development Association. In 2011, Barnhill was selected as the inaugural “Young Leader of the Year” award for stand out career achievements and contributions to western Kentucky communities.

Chief Barnhill is very active in community programs and activities. He is an adjunct criminal justice instructor at West Kentucky Community & Technical College, where he currently serves on the Criminal Justice/Homeland Security Advisory Committee, member of Rotary Club International and current board member. Chief Barnhill is an alumnus of Leadership Paducah and also past Foundation Board member, vice-chair of the Paducah Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, a member of the Fraternal Order of Police serving as a past scholarship chairman for several years, member of the former Paducah/McCracken County Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Council and the McCracken County Domestic Violence Task Force.  Barnhill and his wife have two children and are members of First Baptist Church of Paducah. In his spare time, he enjoys hunting, outdoor activities, watching sports, and spending time with his family.

Contact: 270-444-8590

Assistant Chief Brian Laird

Assistant Chief of Support Services

Assistant Chief Brian Laird began his law enforcement career with the Paducah Police Department in 2001.  During his career, he has served and supervised in all divisions of the department as a Patrolman, Detective, Sergeant and Captain.  Assistant Chief Laird currently leads the Support Services Division.  This division is comprised of the Records and Evidence Unit, along with two detective units:  General Investigations and Drug and Vice Enforcement.  He also serves as Commander of Specialized Units which includes SWAT, Bomb Squad, K-9, and the Crisis Negotiation Team.

Assistant Chief Laird holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Murray State University and a Master of Science degree from the University of Louisville.  He is a 2017 recipient of the FBI-LEEDA Leadership Trilogy Award.  In 2014, he completed the 131st session of the Administrative Officers Course/Executive Program through the Southern Police Institute.  He also is  a graduate of the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Executive Development Program and Academy of Police Supervision.  In 2013, he received the Gary L. Reese Award for outstanding leadership and distinguished career service and was the 2006 Employee of the year with the Paducah Police Department.  

Assistant Chief Laird is active in the local community.  He is a member of the Downtown Kiwanis Club where he is currently serving his third term on the board of directors and was a member of Leadership Paducah Class #29.  He also is a member of the Fraternal Order of Police and past president of the Paducah Police Collective Bargaining Unit.  In his free time, Assistant Chief Laird enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and two children.    

Contact:  Assistant Chief Brian Laird, 270-444-8691


Assistant Chief Anthony Copeland

Assistant Chief of Operations

Assistant Chief Anthony Copeland leads the Operations Division of the Paducah Police Department. The Operations Division is charged with providing 24-hour police service to reduce crime and enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Paducah. This is accomplished, in part, through patrol, outreach, and working with the community to solve problems. Also within Operations is the City’s SWAT team, Bomb Squad, Police Officer Training Unit, Accident Reconstruction, Hostage Negotiation, Explorers, VIPS, and Honor Guard.

Assistant Chief Copeland is originally from the Baltimore, Maryland, area where he was an officer with the Baltimore County Police Department.  In 2006 he and his wife, and then only child, moved to Paducah to begin his service with the Paducah Police Department. 

Since 2006, Assistant Chief Copeland has had the opportunity to work in every part of the department, spending several years in Investigations as both a detective and supervisor.  His recent assignments have been focused on leadership in patrol. During his time at the department, Assistant Chief Copeland has focused on developing positive relationships between the police department and the community and mentoring and developing officers.  He assisted in developing a drug prevention program called, “Choices and The Juvenile Brain.”  This program has been presented to thousands of middle and high school children across the region. He has also been a member of the Bomb Squad for the past 10 years.

Assistant Chief Copeland has participated in the Cultural Leadership Academy, the Southern Police Institute’s Administrative Officers Course, DOCJT Academy of Police Supervision, earned the FBI LEEDA Trilogy, as well as attended hundreds of hours of investigative and leadership training.  He has also obtained his bachelor’s degree in business from Mid-Continent University and is currently working on his Master’s Degree.  Assistant Chief Copeland is currently a member of the Paducah Rotary Club, the National Bomb Squad Commander’s Association, and Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police.       

Contact: Assistant Chief Anthony Copeland270-444-8548


Captain Joe Hayes

Professional Standards Captain

Captain Joe Hayes has dedicated his adult life to public service.  It started with his enlistment in the United States Marine Corps in 1996.  After leaving military service, he continued to support military operations as a contractor.  In 2002 he became a government civilian employee working in the Department of Homeland Security.

Captain Hayes began his career with the Paducah Police Department in 2004.  He has served in all aspects of the department to include operations and investigations.  Captain Hayes is an active shooter instructor and an Intelligence Liaison Officer.  He was an operator and team leader of the department’s SWAT Team and currently serves as the commander of specialized units.

Captain Hayes holds a Bachelor’s degree in business management and a Master’s degree in criminal justice.  He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the Criminal Justice Executive Development course, and the Academy of Police Supervision.  In 2017, he received the FBI-LEEDA Leadership Trilogy Award.

Captain Hayes is active within the community.  He serves as a Sunday School teacher for middle school boys at Twelve Oaks Baptist Church.  Captain Hayes has coached youth softball, soccer, and basketball.  He is a member of Paducah Downtown Kiwanis and American Legion Post #572.  Captain Hayes spends his free time with his family and remaining active in outdoor activities.

Contact: Capt. Joe Hayes, 270-444-8534