The case for investing in a mobile command center (MCC) for police departments and other public safety agencies is strong – they’re easily customizable, can be as high-tech as you need them to be, and they’re appropriate for a wide variety of use cases.
With the proper mobile command center, police officers and first responders have the ability to host all of their necessary functions in a single area, all while being able to move throughout their community as needed.
As public safety technology and 911 Communications continue to evolve, the benefits for investing in a mobile command center are as compelling as ever.
Benefits of Mobile Command Centers
A mobile command center typically includes some combination of multiple workstations (often four to six), a conference area, video surveillance features, and even a bathroom. They truly are comprehensive solutions for the public safety sector.
An MCC allows personnel to:
Stay Safe and Dry
Before you even get into all of the safety features loaded into a mobile command center, you can step back and look at the unit for what it is: a large truck. During extreme (or just unpleasant) weather situations, police officers will be able to congregate in a single area, stay safe and dry, and continue research or paperwork in a secure location.
If officers are corresponding with other public safety offices during a storm, the MCC serves as a hub directly in the action that can be used to connect those from multiple departments at once (think EMS, fire departments, etc.). While MCCs offer a lot of value to public safety departments, the most basic offering they have is shelter.
Better Protect the Public During Events
When a city hosts an event, including anything from a parade to a concert or celebration, keeping the public safe is the top priority. By deploying mobile command centers and synchronizing them with wireless surveillance cameras, you essentially place more eyes on the streets and the people on them, at all times.
By locating your command center in the heart of a city or event, you place decision-makers right where they need to be – the community.
Analyze Evidence Immediately
The beauty of a mobile command center is its flexibility. As noted above, these units often include multiple workspaces and even a conference table/area, meaning there is plenty of space to use for whatever you need. This can (and often does) include an immediate crime lab of sorts right in the vehicle.
In situations where evidence cannot be easily moved from the crime scene to the station, or where immediate analysis is appropriate, officers are able to use the MCC as a mobile crime lab and test evidence right at the scene. This can allow for more immediate information to be given, meaning quicker and more accurate decisions to be made.
Respond to High-Risk Events Effectively
When you have a crime in progress, especially a potentially high-risk crime such as a standoff or hostage situation, there are many features officers may require at the same time, including video surveillance, wireless communication, and wireless networking. Fortunately, by deploying a mobile command center, you ensure that all of these services are readily available at the scene.
This can eliminate wait time between the officers on scene and those back at command central or headquarters. By doing that, you speed up the decision-making process and provide more support for your officers.
Two Creative Use Cases
Mobile command centers are also handy to have on hand for non-emergencies, such as:
Public Safety Career Fairs
Mobile command centers can provide a high-profile way to show citizens what public safety is all about. In Valdosta, Ga., public safety agencies used their mobile command center at a Public Safety Career Expo to “demonstrate some tactical and rescue tools used in real-life scenarios.”
The event included a few dozen local and state public safety agencies, including the fire and police departments, EMS, the 9-1-1 Emergency Call Center and the Georgia Department of Labor. Local colleges and universities with public safety training programs were also invited.
Tax Assistance Events
Countless communities use their mobile command centers to help taxpayers on the go. In New York, for example, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent the state’s Mobile Command Center filled with Tax Department employees to help guide residents in the Bronx and Queens through the online return preparation and filing process.
Save Money with a Refurbished Mobile Command Center
If your department or municipality is considering getting an MCC of your own, you may be wondering whether a refurbished command center is a good investment versus purchasing new.
The good news is that regardless of how you plan to use your mobile command center, a refurbished mobile command center can be a solid starting place. This can be especially true for departments that have never worked with the vehicles before and want to get a feel for the uses and benefits before applying for grant funding for the newest model or for upgrades.
Let’s take look at three of the key factors that can make a refurbished mobile command center a good investment.
MCCs are typically used in situations in which they remain stationary for long periods of time such as storms, crime scenes or large-scale public events like fairs and concerts. In fact, experts estimate the typical mobile command center is driven fewer than 1,000 miles a year. That means even an older vehicle may have low mileage that’s a fraction of its projected lifespan, meaning your agency can still count on your refurbished command center for years to come.
The best mobile command centers are built to allow for easy and cost-effective upgrading over time because the vehicles themselves will likely outlive the technology inside. If you decide to invest in an older command center, you can use the savings to upgrade the technology, including data and voice communications, video equipment or two-way radio solution. Look for features such as modular ceiling panels, which enable the swapping in and out of equipment.
Brands You Can Trust
Many of the top-tier mobile command center manufacturers and retailers have refurbished models available or offer refurbishing services to make older vehicles function like new again. Investing in an older command center offers the opportunity to try out the top brands for far less money than the newest models would cost. And the fact that so many original owners have the vehicles custom built means you’ll get to benefit from someone else’s bells and whistles.
Essential Communications Equipment
Mobile command centers are no longer a “nice-to-have” feature in public service, they are quickly becoming a staple of an effective department. Having a mobile command center at the ready can ensure public safety agencies have not only the manpower but the technology, resources and coordination they need in case of an emergency.
To get expert assistance building or upgrading your mobile command center, contact Chicago Communications!