Note: Due to the COVID-19 situation and the need to maintain social distancing, all members of the Paducah Board of Commissioners participated by video and/or audio conferencing.
To view the entire meeting, visit https://youtu.be/oN4DNG0v8jk.
Kentucky State legislators Senator Danny Carroll and Representative Randy Bridges attended the Paducah Board of Commissioners meeting to provide updates on the recent eight days of the current legislative session. Sen. Carroll said legislation has been passed regarding declarations of emergency and parameters of authority. Sen. Carroll also discussed immediate issues including unemployment insurance, the State’s budget, utility assistance, infrastructure, the new airport terminal for Barkley Regional Airport, and the pension system. Rep. Bridges echoed Sen. Carroll’s comments and added that the State’s budget is tight with many unknowns created by the pandemic. There are 22 days left in the current session.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved a municipal order for a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City of Paducah and the Paducah Independent School District. In 2020, the City received a grant through the Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program to fund the majority of the cost to hire up to three Paducah Police Officers who will serve as School Resource Officers at the high school, middle school, and elementary schools.
Police Chief Brian Laird said, “Superintendent Shively and I have discussed this. We think this is a really good opportunity for a partnership between the City and the School System. But it also gives us the opportunity as a police department to provide good services for our schools. There’s a level of safety and security that’s out there.”
Chief Laird also emphasized that the main goal is to build stronger relationships between the police department and local youth.
Commissioner Raynarldo Henderson said, “I’m trusting as you move forward in the hiring of these three people that they will have a passion for young people.”
Mayor Pro Tem Sandra Wilson added, “I also look at is as recruiting for new officers. When they see you [police officers] and begin to build that relationship and trust, they may want to serve our community in this role.”
These officers are in addition to the current school resource officer at Paducah Tilghman. The MOU, which expires in 2025, was approved by the Paducah Board of Education on January 11.