Lexington became a safer, more efficient city on Thursday with the opening of the Public Safety Operations Center, Mayor Jim Gray said.
“We’ve invested in the newest technology, the very latest,” Gray said. “That technology will improve our service when people call 9-1-1 in an emergency and when they call LexCall 3-1-1 to connect with city services. And it will improve our ability to respond to community emergencies, for example a paralyzing ice storm or a tornado.”
LexCall receives 800-1,000 calls per day; E-911 receives about 1,700 calls per day. “This facility is equipped to answer all of those calls, assess all of those needs, and get help where it needs to go quickly and efficiently,” Public Safety Commissioner Ronnie Bastin said.
After opposing a plan to build a new building to house the center in 2008, when he was Vice Mayor, Mayor Gray reused an empty city building that once housed Juvenile Detention, saving $23 million. The $15 million facility (including federal and state grants) is located off Versailles Road, near Red Mile Road.
In designing the facility, the city worked closely with state and federal officials and the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program. The program and other state and federal agencies provided approximately $5.5 million to help equip the facility.
Kentucky Emergency Management Director Michael E. Dossett said, “As an integral community in the coalition of the 10 Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program counties, Lexington-Fayette is charged with the safety and security of the second largest urban population in the Commonwealth. With the completion of the Operations Center, arguably the last and most important piece of the Program’s communication continuum is now in place.”
Major improvements at the Public Safety Operations Center include:
- A modern digital radio system linking E911, Police, Fire, Emergency Management, Corrections, Airport Safety, Fayette County Schools and other government divisions and agencies.
State-of-the-art E-911 telephone technology.
- Improved communication among LexCall 3-1-1 (the city’s non-emergency call center), E-911 and Emergency Management offices. Better internal communication leads to better communication with the public and better service.
- A public safety hub during a disaster with the technology, space and resources to allow for faster, better, more accurate and more appropriate emergency response to citizens.
This is the first time LexCall, E-911 and the Division of Emergency Management have been housed in the same building. The 32,800 square-foot facility is located at 115 Cisco Road.