Query a Cop: Could pole near police department improve cell service?

“Query a Cop” features reader questions fielded by Los Altos police officers.

Q: We have the tall pole for emergency communications on the grounds of the police department. Is it possible to “rent” space on that pole to cell carriers so that we can get better reception in Los Altos? Seems that could be a good source of income.

– Carol Van Zee

A: The tall pole located near the police department is part of the Silicon Valley Regional Interoperability Authority ECOMM project and does not belong to the city of Los Altos. There are 31 similar sites throughout Santa Clara County. ECOMM is a private digital microwave system that links city and county 911 centers and provides connectivity to most public safety radio sites. ECOMM has built-in redundancy to ensure reliable transmission of police and fire radio communications, data communications from field units and sharing of public safety data. Public safety is a priority for the sites, and adding antennas may interfere with critical public safety communications.

– Andy Galea, Los Altos police chief

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