Sheriff Bob Ogden has a problem, but it is largely of his own making.

The regional communications center, which coordinates emergency dispatch for the entire Island and falls under his jurisdiction, is understaffed and badly in need of a full technology overhaul.

Anybody who has ever called 911 understands how essential this service is to Martha’s Vineyard. So why did voters in four towns refuse to help pay for it?

The answer is as simple as it is ironic: communication.

Having alienated many of the Island selectmen and finance committees by demanding money instead of soliciting their help, the sheriff then tried an end-run to voters by putting his funding request on town meeting warrants by petition.

And it didn’t work.

Since the sheriff’s office became part of state government in 2010, it is reasonable to ask why the state isn’t coming up with needed funds. Given the critical nature of emergency dispatch to a storm-battered Island, Sheriff Ogden could have easily rallied broad support to demand an answer from Beacon Hill. Islanders would have responded with zeal.

Imagine what he might have been accomplished if he’d made this an Island problem.

Instead, it’s just his own.