Continuous Improvement - 911

Objective - 911 Radio/Tower Upgrades and Operational Funding

911 graphicClearly established partnership agreement with McCracken County to create a sustainable revenue source, establish governance, and make necessary capital infrastructure improvements. 

Note: This was also a 2021 and 2022 City Commission Priority.

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, the computer-aided-dispatching (CAD) system, and the records management system.
  • 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.

Key Departments

City Clerk/Customer Experience Department 
Fire Department
Police Department

911 Continuous Improvement Details

Expectations and Tactics

Support the joint 911 Communication Oversight Committee in its efforts to recommend a governance structure, capital improvements, and a sustainable revenue source for both capital and operations. 

Accomplishments - 2021 to present

Collaborative Meetings 

  • Held an initial working group meeting in March 2021 with representatives from the City, McCracken County, and McCracken County Sheriff’s Office.  Working group is reviewing the current 911 services agreement. 
  • During a June 24, 2021, joint meeting between the Paducah Board of Commissioners and McCracken County Fiscal Court, the boards approved a motion to develop a Memorandum of Understanding to split the capital costs of the 911 system, establish a new working committee with elected officials, and form a plan to offset declining revenues.  
  • At the August 10, 2021, City Commission Meeting, the Board approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City and County for a partnership to upgrade the 911 system.  The City and County agree to establish a joint oversight committee to make formal recommendations regarding the needed system upgrades, funding options, and governing structure with a completion date by February 1, 2022, to identify the funding method.  The City and County also agree to be equal partners in the capital expenditures to upgrade the equipment. 
  • In July 2022, the City and County reiterated the importance of the partnership and the sense of urgency for the 911 upgrade with a goal of completing an agreement by the end of 2022 focusing on governance and revenue.

Project Infrastructure Report  

  • Project consultant, Federal Engineering, has updated the cost estimates for the 911 capital needs and infrastructure costs.  A draft report has been received updating the capital needs, costs, and options.  Federal Engineering also reviewed a proposal from Motorola/Kentucky State Police.
  • At its May 10, 2022, meeting the Paducah Board of Commissioners approved a municipal order authorizing a contract amendment with Federal Engineering to move forward with a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the procurement of a six-tower 911 radio system as recommended by the 911 Communication Oversight Committee.  With this amendment, Federal Engineering will prepare the RFP, review the proposals, and conduct contract negotiations.  The City and McCracken County are partnering in this endeavor with the County reimbursing the City for half of the cost of this contract amendment.  
  • The 130-plus page request for proposals document has been received from Federal Engineering with the project placed out to bid on December 2, 2022.  The bid opening is March 2, 2023. A small group of City and County representatives will review the RFP responses.

Grant Funding  Paducah Police Department received a $314,450 Kentucky Homeland Security grant for radio equipment upgrades which will reduce the overall project cost.

911 Communication Oversight Committee  In November 2021, the Paducah Board of Commissioners approved the appointment of Commissioner Carol Gault and Kevin Kauffeld and the joint appointment of Jewel Jones to the 911 Communication Oversight Committee.  McCracken County appointed Eddie Jones and Dr. Irvin Smith. This five-member committee is reviewing the 911 project and the draft report from Federal Engineering to determine the project funding needs, funding mechanism, and timeline. At its January 24, 2023, meeting, the Paducah Board of Commissioners approved disbanding the Committee and thanked this committee for its dedication to the project. This committee met 18 times during 2022 and completed its goals. Additional information and significant actions by the committee are below.

911 Communication Oversight Committee

Pictured:  Mayor George Bray (4th from left) welcomes 911 Communication Oversight Committee at its first meeting on January 10, 2022.

first meetingCommittee Members  County Commissioner Eddie Jones, Kevin Kauffeld (Chairman), Dr. Irvin Smith (Vice Chairman), City Commissioner Carol Gault, and Jewel Jones 

Meetings  The Committee met 18 times during 2022 typically on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall. 

911 Communication Oversight Committee Minutes

Significant Actions  

  • On March 14, 2022, the Committee approved a motion to recommend to the City and County to process with the Request for Proposals process for a six-tower 911 system. The Committee also approved at that meeting a motion recommending that special district fire departments be included in the capital expenditures.  (In May, the City and County both approved moving forward with the RFP process with Federal Engineering.)
  • On April 25, 2022, the Committee approved a motion for County Commissioner Eddie Jones and City Commissioner Carol Gault to request from the City and County governments funds to split the costs of paying Federal Engineering to prepare and evaluate an RFP for the project in addition to final contract negotiations.
  • On October 24, 2022, the Committee approved a motion that once the final materials are received from Federal Engineering regarding the RFP, the City and County should collaborate to move forward with its release.
  • On October 24, 2022, the Committee approved a motion to recommend a hybrid governance structure for 911 to the City and County.  A hybrid model would be structured similar to the current Joint Sewer Agency as established by the City and County but would not have the authority to raise its own funds.  It would have a joint board, the official policy-making and governing authority.
  • On November 14, 2022, the Committee approved a motion for Commissioner Eddie Jones to create and distribute a letter outlining his idea for $2 utility charges across electric, landline, cell phone, and water meters.  Furthermore, the letter would include his proposal for a City/County annexation agreement.
  • On November 28, 2022, the Committee approved a motion to recommend using water meters as the source for implementing a fee.
  • On November 28, 2022, the Committee approved a motion to suspend regular meetings and resume on an as-needed basis.
  • On January 24, 2023, the Paducah Board of Commissioners approved disbanding the committee and thanked members for completing their goals.

Commission Priorities

Read all Commission Priorities and Continuous Improvement Items including each action item's objective, key departments, and expectations by visiting Commission Priorities.