Darren Doyle, story:
Sheriff Shane Doyle gave his regular report at today's fiscal court meeting, covering several concerns. One specifically was regarding failed radio service for his deputies during a recent pursuit.
He said for two straight days, the local law enforcement radio channel failed, which prevented officers from communicating with each other and with local dispatch on their dedicated digital law enforcement frequency. He said both the portable units and vehicle units were disabled.
"Deputies were down in a hollow where we understand how radio transmission would be difficult, but they still had no radio when they were back on the roadway," he said.
He said that this wasn't an isolated incident, either. He has routinely discussed the problems that he and his office have experienced since law enforcement radio transmission was upgraded to its current system back in the fall of 2016.
Emergency Management Director Pat Prunty said the issues are extremely frustrating, especially since the county made the $125K investment to upgrade. Half of that was funded through a federal emergency management grant secured by Prunty.
"We've had Motorola and Mobile Com (the radio contractor) here over and over again, checking this, and checking that," he said. "No one can necessarily pinpoint the problem to one thing specific, but it appears to be a number of things."
Prunty said the main problem at this point seems to be radio interference coming from Springfield, KY, where they share the same radio frequency as Edmonson County. Springfield is 92 miles from Brownsville, just east of Bardstown. Prunty said no one knew for sure how it was possible for there to be interference from that far away, but the radio provider and the FCC were working on securing a brand new frequency for Edmonson County law enforcement. The only question would be as to how long it would take for that to come to fruition.
"On paper, our system looks amazing and it should be as good as we could want," Prunty said. "Getting it from paper to real life has been a different story."
Prunty also said other issues have stemmed from incorporating the new equipment with some of the old. He said sometimes this has trouble communicating with that, and point A gets rerouted to point C when it needs to go to B.
Doyle said his department will have to continue to use the fire channel at certain times, which is an analog signal. While it's not as strong and extremely frustrating to switch back and forth, especially during a pursuit, they have no choice but to do whatever they can until all the issues get resolved.
"We know Pat (Prunty) is working with these guys to get this right," Doyle added. "He's done an amazing job so far. This is something that's not really anyone's fault in particular, just a lot of things adding up that's creating a safety threat. We have to have reliable communication."
Doyle closed his report by announcing that 53 indictments were returned from last week's Grand Jury, which was the first one held in Edmonson County since January. The indictments will be released to the public soon. Finally, he said his office recently had a resignation of a deputy and is currently looking to fill the full time position.