Eight Local Communities Receive Public Safety Grants
On Jan. 22, 2007, Gov. Ernie Fletcher announced the recipients of the first round of 911 Improvement Grants for 2007, awards designed to enhance services at Kentucky’s 911 centers. The awards were provided to eight local communities to upgrade 911 services from Basic 911 to Enhanced 911 (E911) and to assist
existing E911 centers with the replacement or maintenance of equipment. E911 improves the effectiveness and reliability of landline and wireless 911 services by providing 911 dispatchers with additional information on 911 calls.
"It is essential that we have a top rate 911 system here in Kentucky and address the areas of the state that do not currently have access to Enhanced 911."
- Gov. Ernie Fletcher
“These awards represent an investment in the safety of our commonwealth’s communities and families,” said Gov. Fletcher. “It is essential that we have a top rate 911 system here in Kentucky and address the areas of the state that do not currently have access to Enhanced 911. These 911 improvement grants are working to tackle this problem by focusing on the communities with the greatest need for upgraded 911 services.”
The following communities are the recipients of 911 Improvement Grant funding:
- Martin County Fiscal Court, $199,142;
- Edmonson County Fiscal Court, $130,000;
- Magoffin County Fiscal Court, $19,500;
- Kentucky River Area Development District, $284,280;
- Bell County Fiscal Court, $37,461;
- Carlisle County Fiscal Court, $179,969;
- Clay County Fiscal Court, $69,263; and
- Ashland/Boyd County Regional Public Safety Communications Center, $23,767.
The 2006 Kentucky General Assembly passed HB 656, later signed into law by Gov. Fletcher, which created a grant fund designed to facilitate needed upgrades to 911 systems across the state and to support improvement of the 911 infrastructure supported by Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) wireless carriers throughout Kentucky.
Between Oct. 26 and Dec. 15, 2006, 59 grant applications were submitted to the state Office of the 911 Coordinator, an agency of the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security, requesting more than $7.8 million in funding. Beginning on Jan. 3, 2007, independent technical review teams, consisting of subject matter experts with varied experience and skills, reviewed each application. The review panels included current and retired 911 professionals, including members of the Kentucky Emergency Number Association and the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials; wireless and wireline service providers; first responders representing police, fire, EMS and public safety communications; the state’s Area Development Districts; and representatives from cities and counties. The panel ended their review on Jan. 4, 2007.
The review teams scored each application based on the merits and effectiveness of the described project. The teams then assigned a score to each application.
On Jan. 16, 2007, the CMRS Board, the body charged with administrating the CMRS fund for the purpose of implementing wireless emergency 911 service throughout Kentucky in accordance with state and federal legislation and regulation, approved the grant policy by which funding was distributed to local agencies. The policy states that all applications with scores above average in the category of “Counties with Basic 911 systems that require system upgrades to become enhanced 911” would receive 100 percent of their requested funding. The policy also provides for the remaining amount of funding in the CMRS grant fund to be distributed to the top scoring application in the category of “Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) or carriers with E911 systems that require immediate system replacement to maintain enhanced 911 status or when the expected life of the system is less than one year.”
A second round of 911 improvement grants will be released later this year. A call for applications will be made at that time.
The Kentucky Office of Homeland Security has been charged by Gov. Fletcher to lead the commonwealth's prevention and preparedness efforts to ensure Kentucky’s communities, first responders and families are ready and prepared. For more information about homeland security in Kentucky, please visit www.homelandsecurity.ky.gov.