Regional
3:53 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Emergency Tower to Improve Communication

 

Law enforcement officers in Dona Ana County are on there way to solving a big communication gap located in the southernmost part of the county, near the United States and Mexican border.

For decades, few deputies with the Dona Ana County Sheriff's Department have been able to establish reliable radio communication from the Texas state line to the Luna County line.

"We have radio communication in that area, but it's just very spotty" said Kelly Jameson.

But a new tower being built hopes to change all that.

"It will fill in the gaps of frequencies out there so, that the deputies can establish radio communication and they'll know its dependable and in an event of an emergency we can get more units to the area," she said.

The tower site is on a narrow, 200 foot section of property owned by the Bureau of Land Management. Its located just north of the United States, Mexico border, off Highway 9.

"Communication is critical to these deputies if you can't establish communication with central dispatch. If they can't receive a radio communication message via cellular phone they are hanging in the middle of nowhere," she said.

The gap in radio communication came more than ten years ago, after the FCC mandated a switch from high frequency to very high frequency radio transmissions.

"Its been a lot of red tape," she said.

Larry Bleimeyer, a county radio communications supervisor, pushed for the new tower. He helped get the land cleared through environmental impact studies. He also worked to have a right-of-way established for an access road to the tower site.

The Bleimeyer Communication Tower is expected to be up and running later this summer.