Paducah-McCracken County Commission meets to discuss 911 radio transmitters

PADUCAH, Ky. (KBSI) – There is new progress on efforts to upgrade Paducah’s struggling 911 system.

“It’s just a process of deciding what’s the ultimate that we can have, and can we afford that,” said Craig Clymer, McCracken County Judge Executive. “How do we pay for it? How are we going to govern it?”

The 911 dispatch transmitters in McCracken County sometimes lose connection. In an emergency, this can become a serious issue for emergency services such as fire, police, medical, and the sheriff’s department, along with dispatch.

There are also many dead spots in the city and county.

Upgrading the radio system is expected to cost between $8-12 million.

The committee reviewed and discussed documents for the project at the Paducah City Commission meeting Tuesday morning.

“It’s tower based and allows more information to be shared between the dispatch and first responders and first responders to each other,” said Eddie Jones, Paducah-McCracken County commissioner.

The technical consultant, “federal engineer,” asked the committee to review the documents and provide any questions they have over the next week.

City Manager Daron Jordan says the highly technical document is “very well prepared, “and he understands the sense of urgency in moving this public safety project forward.

Right now, it costs more than $2 million a year to operate the current transmitters.

Landline fees used to cover most of the cost, but declining revenue from landline fees and cell fees are no longer enough to cover the operational costs.

That leads the city and county to provide operational funds to fill the gap.

Funding for the upgrades will decided at a future meeting.

Categories: News