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09-08-2007, 06:44 PM
North Port police ask for a mobile command bus
They say the $200,000 vehicle will help handle record workload

By HEATHER ALLEN



heather.allen@heraldtribune.com

NORTH PORT -- The Police Department is asking the City Commission to fund a nearly $200,000 mobile command bus, which they say is a necessary tool as the number of calls to the department continues to grow.

"In a city our size, as we've grown, I think it's long overdue," said Police Chief Terry Lewis.

The Police Department is facing a record work load, and no new officers next year thanks to a city budget crunch. :oops:

The police budget is down by 8 percent for the next fiscal year, a $2.3 million decrease. Meanwhile, the 162-person department expects to handle a record 50,000 calls this calendar year, up by about 39 percent compared with last year. :cry:

The plan is to pay for the communications center through impact fees, which are $161 for each new house built inside city limits and more for commercial properties.

The Police Department originally requested $250,000 for the vehicle, but had to scale back the figure to $189,000 when it cut its impact fee projects by $500,000.

The mobile command bus, which is essentially a souped-up RV with satellite and wireless capabilities, will enable the police to set up a "war room" in the field. Police Capt. Robert Estrada said the vehicle will also come equipped with copy and fax machines, a sink, a refrigerator and a restroom.

"You name it and nowadays they can put in anything," Estrada said. "It even has a microwave oven if you want to heat something up."

The mobile command unit will also be used in case the police station must be evacuated or if the power goes out during a hurricane, Lewis said.

The vehicle, if the funds are made available, will be shared with the North Port Fire Department and will be deployed during dry season when brush fires are prevalent.

The unit will be used as a place where firefighters can cool off and regroup.

In the past, the Police Department has had to wait for either the Sarasota County or Charlotte County Sheriff's Office to bring in their mobile command vehicle to help out.

When Coralrose Fullwood, 6, was missing from her North Port home last September, Charlotte County lent its command post vehicle to North Port as detectives combed the area looking for the girl, Lewis said. The child was found slain. Her murder remains unsolved.

The Sarasota Police Department also has its own mobile command vehicle. A resident donated an RV last year and the department outfitted it with the necessary equipment, said Sarasota Police Capt. Stan Duncan.



Staff writer John Davis contributed to this report.

09-08-2007, 06:47 PM
think we can get one of these with our norht port budget?


http://www.sarasotasheriff.org/PDFfiles ... %20Web.pdf (http://www.sarasotasheriff.org/PDFfiles/2007%20Annual%20Report%20for%20Web.pdf)

09-09-2007, 12:13 PM
before we need a mobile command bus we need to get bigger. well we all know that is not going to happen. why do we need a vehicle like this when we have no swat team or other related special response team. we rely on scso and ccso when we need man power and special services/vehicle/equiptment. this type of vehicle is not warranted currently. we have no aviation unit no surf unit no range unit no motor unit no no swat/ert unit no bomb we dont even have a gun range or driving range we borrow everything from other sheriff offices so lets continue to borrow their gear. so why would we try and buy a command unit we cant afford??????????????????????????????? :x

09-12-2007, 01:37 AM
you!! mr. stop it, sound like a pissed off tns guy who is ready to move on... lol...

now i think thats funny :lol:

lets get the big bus... 1 is in command.. if he wants it well then shut up and go with it.

09-12-2007, 04:29 PM
we need a mobile command bus like we need a dive team :lol: