- Published: Thursday, March 29, 2012 9:14 AM MST
The farther spread out Eloy becomes, the harder it has been for police to stay in touch using its current radio communication equipment.
Frequent "dead spots" have plagued officers out in the field. And a FCC requirement of converting all government radio frequencies to narrow band transmission by January of next year forced Eloy PD to have an engineering study done to correct the issue.
"The Eloy Police Department provides dispatch service for both itself and the Eloy Fire District. There are certain locations within the Police Department's operational area that have very poor reception and/or transmission. Once the Department begins broadcasting on its narrow banded frequency as will be required by the FCC, the problem locations are expected to increase," explained Sgt. Michelle Tarango.
Creative Communications studied the PD's current structure and how going to narrow band frequency transmission would affect the department. They suggested moving the current tower from the landfill to behind the police department building, and raise the tower to at least 120 feet.
The department tried purchasing and salvaging a tower from another city, but it did not work out. So earlier this month, the city approved the purchase of a communication tower from Canyon State Wireless for $251,540.24. The bid, one of three, came in approximately $1,500 above budget, and funds had to be taken out of contingency funding.
The new tower will also allow for the relocation of equipment to the tower for the city's Eloy Public Works and Parks and Recreation departments, as well as be an item for possible revenue through renting space on the tower to other agencies and cell companies. Space on a tower such as this could go for as much as $1,000 a month.
The Eloy Fire District equipment will remain on the tower at the landfill.
Construction on the new tower will take two months. The Department hopes to have the new tower in place and operating by June 30.