Eighteen years and counting.
Surely that is enough time for Chautauqua County law enforcement and emergency services finally to have a communication system that lives up to the name.
We know the county radio network does not seem like a front-burner issue, but that is only because the harm done is not obvious nor, always, immediate when a communication system is neither universal to all first responders and support agencies nor adaptable to make it so.
As you read, Chautauqua County has been trudging along the road toward a new radio system since 1994 when the first meetings were convened to start looking into updating radio systems throughout the county. False starts, new technology, failed technology, expensive technology, state and federal involvement - a lot of things has forced the process to drag on for 18 years.
As Sheriff Joseph Gerace put it, the patchwork system still in place today works, after a fashion, but is held together by wires and duct tape. With new federal regulations requiring a narrowband system, the county finally seems ready to step into the 21st century - if money enough can be found to pay for equipment to serve all of the agencies at the county, town and village levels that need to be accessible to emergency services.
It seems to us that should not be a problem. An emergency communication system is one of the basic services we should get in trade for all of the taxes we pay.