LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - It's almost routine. Someone dials 911 needing police; a dispatcher then assigns that call to an officer; and they race to the scene.
But aside from the trained women and men on the job, something else helps that process to run smoothly, the city's communications tower.
"You have all the communications for the police department. As well as all of the data and phone communications for the city hall out to outlying facilities such as the municipal court and the fire stations," said Keith Wright, Lufkin City Manager.
Meaning if it were to suddenly stop working…
"It'd be a bad thing," Wright said.
And after at least 20 years of service, issues with its effectiveness have become an increasing problem.
"This monopole is deteriorating. We're having issues when people try to climb it, that it's not safe. And so we're having to hire a crane to come out just really minor maintenance," Wright said.
And also as trees grow, the tower's line-of-sight becomes obstructed. Problems the new tower, which will stand 192 feet tall, 82 feet taller than the current one, hope to solve.
And those 82 feet just may add a level of security to the city.
"We need to additional height to improve the communications, particularly for our police department. You don't want to be a police officer out in the field, in a bad situation and you can't communicate," Wright said.
The new tower will sit right next to the current one and comes with a price tag of $131, 051. But not a dime used to foot the bill will come from taxpayers.
"There's no additional cost. These are funds that have already been appropriated. They were savings from other projects," Wright said.
City officials plan for the new tower to be in place sometime next month.