Tax tool aiding local law enforcement


Reporter - Lauren Adams
Photojournalist - David Dycus

PADUCAH — The old maps were one color, blue, and offered one view. It was why mapping specialists were never at the McCracken County Property Valuation office.

"The funding for just this office for gas is $1,000 a month," PVA Nancy Bock said of her team running around to do assessments and adjustments for taxpayers.

But those high gas bills and maps, she said, are now a thing of the past.

"You can pan on this system and pull up as many as you want," she said, pulling up properties with the office's new "pictometry" software.

The software, the first of its kind in the area, allows angles at four different views. Bock said that means her team can do most work from behind a desk before hitting the pavement.

Bock, the county's PVA for the past 19 years, plans on sharing the new technology with local fire departments. With the click of a mouse, hydrants are located and she said, with another click, firefighters are shown just how much hose they will need.

It is a feature Paducah Police officers are already playing around with.

"You can measure how high a window is so you can see if you're able to get in through that window," Sgt. Brian Laird explained of using the technology in possible situations.

While Laird has not had to scale through windows yet, his team did use the technology last week to execute a search warrant.

"We were able to pull up the aerial photos of it so everybody would know what hazards they would run into as we approached the house."

It is a tool meant for taxes but one that Bock said is already proving to be worth much more.

"It's gonna better serve the community and that's what we're here for."

The new technology comes with a pricetag of about $60,000 but Bock believes it's worth every penny and said she will quickly make that back.

For example, not a lot of folks pay for permits to add on additions to their homes. Bock said with the maps, her team will be able to notice changes and even if it means a few knocks on doors, she said it will generate more money for the county.

Bock said the maps will be updated with flyovers every two years. Next month, Bock's office will begin training with Kentucky State Police and local fire departments.