First Meeting of 911 Communication Oversight Committee

Date of release:  January 10, 2022

Mayor George Bray welcomed the 911 Communication Oversight Committee at its first meeting this afternoon.  This five-member committee has the important task of making recommendations regarding upgrades for the 911 system that serves the City and County.  The Committee learned about the current situation from Paducah Police Chief Brian Laird and City Finance Director Jonathan Perkins.  The Committee plans to meet monthly on the 2nd and 4th Monday at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall.

A few key points:

  • 911 Center currently is a division of the Paducah Police Department.  It has 23 full-time employees.
  • The radio system which includes handheld radios, the radio infrastructure at the Center, and towers is at its end-of-life and needs upgrading.  This is the most expensive component with an estimated cost of $8 to 12 million. 
  • The radio system is for dispatchers to talk to first responders and for first responders to talk to each other and dispatch.  Currently, there are dead spots in the City and County where communication is not possible.
  • Upgrades have been COMPLETED to the telephony and the computer-aided-dispatching (CAD) systems.
  • It costs more than $2.1 million to operate the Center.  Land-line fees used to cover the majority of the cost.  However, the declining land-line fees and cell fees do not cover the operational costs which lead the City and County to provide operational funds.
  • This initiative is a City Commission Priority.  

Pictured (left to right):  County Commissioner Eddie Jones, Kevin Kauffeld, Dr. Irvin Smith, Mayor George Bray, City Commissioner Carol Gault, and Jewel Jones

first meeting