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Emergency radio service to improve near San Joaquin-Sacramento county line

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Posted: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 7:24 am, Wed Dec 14, 2011.

Communications during emergencies near the San Joaquin-Sacramento county line will improve next year, after a new radio tower is built northeast of Liberty and Dustin roads.

The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors approved specifications on Tuesday for the 149-feet-high communications tower, which will be used by emergency services. It will be financed through a $513,200 grant from California Homeland Security. The county owns the property.

County Information Systems Director Jerry Becker said that hills in the northeastern part of the county, along with canyons in Dry Creek, create spotty reception for law enforcement, fire districts and ambulance dispatchers. The new tower will help solve that problem, Becker said.

The nearest emergency services towers to the county line are in Lodi and Clements, which are too far away, Becker said. In northern San Joaquin County, radio coverage is currently good when emergency responders are in their vehicles, but much weaker due to less powerful equipment when they're outside the vehicles, according to Marc Shorr, assistant information systems director.

The tower is expected to be installed by April 20.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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