The city has been trying through all of Barrett's term to switch to a digital system called OpenSky. Millions of dollars over budget, it was supposed to be done by 2005 but went operational only this year. Maybe.
Police union head Mike Crivello says he's still hearing from officers that the system isn't working right. Police find places the radios won't work - notably, schools. They can hear but can't be heard. Calls are garbled. Fundamentally, says Crivello, they're unsure that when they press the button, they'll reach someone.
At the same time, the PPPA (Professional Police Ass'n) is running ads supporting Barrett in upstate media markets.
Well. The radio-failure problem affects cops, yes; if they can't communicate with other units and/or dispatch, they are at risk of life and limb. But at least the cops are armed and capable of some self-defense.
Not so if you're a law-abiding member of the public; you cannot carry a concealed weapon. So when the cops do NOT get your call-for-service due to a radio problem which Barrett simply will not act upon, you, your wife, and your children are at great risk.
Evidently PPPA doesn't really give a rotten damn about "public" safety.
Maybe PPPA can explain that--but the term "craven" doesn't really do justice to the action.
One word. Union.
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