LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

St. Matthews dispatch failed after storm


St. Matthews expected to have a new starter installed on an emergency generator for its police dispatch operations — including computers — at City Hall today, after the generator failed during Tuesday night's storm.

"We had no lights, no radio, no telephone," St. Matthews Police chief Norm Mayer said. "We were operating under flashlights and cell phones."

The police number (893-9000) was not working, but people who called 911 were switched to police cell phones in St. Matthews through the Louisville MetroSafe communications system, if the call pertained to a problem in St. Matthews, Mayer said.

"We were able to get a hold of all the officers" and call them in, he said. Due to the weather, "there wasn't anybody out running around, he said. Officers were able to cover all the main intersections to monitor potential traffic problems, he said.

"No one was in any danger" because of the generator failure, he said.

Power to all operations at City Hall, 3940 Grandview Ave., had gone out during the storm, and police and other city officials communicated by portable radios and cell phones for about 10 hours until power was restored yesterday morning, said City Councilman Rick Tonini, who's also chairman of the council's police committee.

"We stumbled, but we were able to continue operating," he said.

The natural-gas powered generator "has always been very dependable," he said. "It never once failed us" during other outages. A repairman discovered the problem the night of the storm but couldn't get replacement parts immediately, Tonini said.

Tonini was still without power today at his home — where the temperature was about 38 degrees — on St. Germaine Court and said many others in St. Matthews were, too.