9' Rath Security Solar Tower at Sunset Park
Sunset Park Florissant, MO
Twenty miles outside of St. Louis rests Florissant, Missouri, a city of about 53,000 residents. The twelfth largest city in Missouri prides itself on being home to twenty different parks, each with distinct attractions.
Sunset Park is located in the northwest corner of the city. One draw of the park is the four mile long Sunset Trail. In part, the trail parallels the historic Missouri River. The view of the river through the trees is a stunning backdrop to any hike, walk, or bike ride.
As on any trail, user safety is a concern. The isolation of a trail creates an opportunistic location for crimes. Although most people carry a cell phone, it isnít always practical to exclusively rely on them. Phones are forgotten, out of charge, stripped, or stolen during altercations. The convenient and immediate link to help no longer exists.
The Florissant Police Department recognized these risks and, in the summer of 2011, purchased a 9í Emergency Phone Tower for the trail. The phone was installed about a mile from the trail entrance in Sunset Park. According to the Parks and Recreation Director, Mr. Bob Laramie, this is an ideal location. The first mile of the trail is downhill and the phone is located near the bottom of the hill. The low point of the trail has spotty cell phone reception and is a fair distance from any entrance point.
In June of 2013, disaster struck when the portion of trail near the Missouri River was washed away due to heavy rain and flooding. The trail has been reconstructed and additional flood precautions were taken. Although the trail was washed away, the Emergency Phone remained and still serves as a safety point for trail patrons.
The phone has not been used in an emergency situation to date, but visitors are comforted that a direct line to help is available, just in case.