If Gowanda is looking for answers regarding its police department, maybe it needs to look to Silver Creek.
Last year, the village approved a contract with the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office to patrol its village. Over the past year, the result is an unqualified success.
Costs to maintain Silver Creek's police presence have decreased and the community now receives more information about crime - since the village department would not return phone calls.
If there is a possibility the village could contract with the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Department for police protection, that needs to be considered. But paying a consultant to offer advice on what to do? There is no need for that.
"We're not experts in the field of police work," said Gowanda Mayor Heather McKeever. "These guys put their lives on the line for us and I think it's unfair for us to assume that we know what's best. A professional outside opinion would give everyone in the position a fair playing field, it would give us insights into what direction the village needs to go."
One thing is for sure - the consultant will offer the obvious choices: the village can keep its department the way it is; it can consider a partnership with another or it can become bigger.
Wow. Cannot wait for the final report.
By the way, that information from a consultant, most likely, will come with a high price tag for residents and the board.