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Ham Operator Donates Tower to Local Police Department

Most newspaper articles about amateur radio towers describe the battles ham radio operators have to go through to erect or even maintain towers in their community. A ham radio tower story in the Milan News-Leader in Milan, Mich., offers a different theme.

The article, "'Towering' donation aids city police," reports the donation of a 64-foot radio tower purchased by ham radio operator Don Churchill in 1977 to the local police department. In the article, Milan Police Chief Jeff Lewis said, "I just have to give a big thank you to Mr. Churchill on behalf of the Milan Police Department. This technology will greatly enhance our ability to communicate with one another. It's terrific."

A fire department antenna extended the height of the tower to 84 feet. It will hold antennas for wireless Internet, fire department VHF paging, fire department 800 MHz communications, Monroe Sheriff 800 MHz communications, scanners and a Milan police backup radio. Fire paging coverage is expected to improve by about 50 percent.

Don Churchill, whose station call letters are WD8DTL, is no longer active in amateur radio. It is refreshing to read an article that recognizes towers are an important part of our communications infrastructure, not only for personal conveniences such as cell phones, but also for critical emergency services.