The Paducah Board of Commissioners and the McCracken County Fiscal Court met at a called meeting to learn more about the equipment upgrades and needs at the local E-911 center which provides emergency and non-emergency services for the residents of the City of Paducah and McCracken County.
Project Manager Cliff Brown with Virginia-based Federal Engineering, Inc. made a presentation to both boards regarding the status of the upgrades and the remaining equipment, specifically the radio system, that is in critical need of replacement. In August 2016, the City authorized a contract with Federal Engineering to provide services including the planning, design, and implementation assistance for the replacement of the radio, telephony, and computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system. Several of those components have been upgraded or are in the process of being addressed with the radio system as one of the next large items in need of replacement.
McCracken County Judge Executive Craig Clymer said, “The number one priority exclusive to government is providing public safety. This is ground-level priority public service, and we’ve got to get it right.”
Paducah Mayor Brandi Harless said, “The radio is backbone of the communication of all the agencies, not just 911. It’s bigger than I imagined originally.”
Federal Engineering estimated in 2017 that the radio system upgrades could cost approximately $13 to 14 million which would include the radio infrastructure, radios, and antenna sites.
The next steps are to update the cost estimates for the project due to advances in technology and vendor products, determine a funding method, and develop a Request for Proposals (RFP) for procurement of a new radio system.
Since 2016, 911 Communications Services has been structured under the City of Paducah with various user groups contracting for dispatching services. E-911 currently is a division of the Paducah Police Department. The 911 Center receives more than 150,000 calls per year.