ANGELINA COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - Angelina County will soon have two new towers installed to improve communication.
The 400-feet tall towers will help improve radio communication between dispatch and law enforcement in the field. Precinct 1 Constable Tom Selman these new towers are built to last at least 100-years.
"The systems that we were using were put into service in the early 70s," Selman said.
He said the county has outgrown their 40-year-old radio towers.
"With the new radio systems coming into play we need more capacity, we need antennas and the tower that were currently operated on is just not suitable for adding more structures. Its basically overloaded as it is right now," Selman said.
Selman said the county teamed with the City of Lukfin to plan for two 400-foot tall towers that’ll soon be constructed in Lufkin and in Zavalla.
"We are moving to a new system that has more bandwidth, more channels, more capabilities for our officers," Selman said.
The communications upgrade will help dispatchers relay messages to officers, fire officials, and first responders in any part of the county covering 865 square miles.
"Two locations are necessary because the of the way the county is configured. The county is long and narrow and our communications in the Zavalla area is real spotty," Selman said.
For Zavalla Fire Chief Chris Wade, the new towers will help transmit messages across clearer channels.
“I would say 65 percent of the time on fire department side, our radio traffic don’t get through, and if it does, it’s very static-y, and you can’t understand it,” Wade said.
Selman said two new towers will connect with a tower already in place by the City of Diboll which as a result expands the range for communication.
“Now, with multiple towers the farthest distance any officers radio will have to talk to get to a tower is 16 miles,” Selman said.
He said Angelina County and the City of Lufkin are sharing the costs of the project which is close to $900,000.