January 14, 2016
A new Johns Creek public safety communications tower located nearby in Forsyth County is now operational, ensuring comprehensive radio coverage for police and firefighters throughout the city.
The 195-foot new tower eliminates gaps in coverage and allows emergency personnel to communicate while in buildings in northeast Johns Creek. The uninterrupted coverage provides better protection for public safety officials and residents in the Shakerag community.
“This was a critical safety issue for our police, fire, and emergency medical personnel and for our residents in the northeast part of the City,” said Mayor Mike Bodker. “Our staff did a great job of finding an alternative location for the tower and we appreciate Forsyth County working with us to make this happen.”
The City located the tower at a site just inside Forsyth County near Old Atlanta Rd that has two towers already on it.
The City had been using a single Fulton County Public Safety communication tower at Jones Bridge and Morton roads but it lacked the strength and height to provide all of Johns Creek optimum service for first responders. The location – which is slightly higher than surrounding terrain – and the tower’s stronger signal correct the deficits of the Jones Bridge tower.
The new tower is part of a countywide system upgrade by Fulton County to repair and enhance its ageing public safety communications network. The County replaced the equipment on the Jones Bridge tower and installed the equipment on the City’s new tower.
In June, 2014 the City proposed a plan to erect a 400-foot tower near State Bridge and Medlock Bridge roads in an effort to cover the entire city with one tower. However, after receiving community input, the City sought alternative solutions. In a seven-month search, the City evaluated multiple sites in Johns Creek and in Forsyth County but rejected them for various reasons, such as poor signal quality, cost and undesirable locations.
The construction of the communications tower in Forsyth County was advantageous for all involved. The move enables Forsyth County to use the tower to improve its own public safety communications as well, including the use of a tornado siren. Forsyth County is also in a position to allow private telecommunications providers to use the tower and will share the proceeds with the City.