Lee County communication out of touch?

Lee County Officials work to fix radio system. / Jessica Fairley

Communication is key to the performance of law enforcement. They receive phone calls, monitor scanners and connect to each other via radio, but if that system is penetrated by outside sources, it can delay their performance. This is what's happening in Lee County.

"The band is narrowing. So if you drive down the road you can possibly pick up McDonalds and hear someone making an order over the p.a. system," said Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachels.

He says there are times when they cannot hear each other and they've even had to use their personal cell phones as a method communicating work related information. Officials say if a situation gets out of hand, it could be disastrous.

"It is a serious public safety matter," said Lee County Commission Chair Ed Duffy.

It's going to take a new radio system to get them back on track, said officials.

In Thursday's county commissioner's meeting they discussed a $1.7 million proposal that would fund the project. This led to the hiring of a consulting firm to make sure their plans are carried out.

"The board approved to hire the Tusa Consulting Service to go through the radio system to see what is lacking and what is needed," said Duffy.

Sheriff Reggie Rachels says at first he wasn't sure about the plan, but now that he knows how the funds will be used, he's on board.

"Maybe they're going in the right direction spending this money to get a consultant to get a better radio system," said Sheriff Rachels.