02/04/2003

Calif. unit upgrade their communications center

By Steve Moore
The Press-Enterprise

BEAUMONT, Calif. — It's got everything but a jail.

A new Mobile Command Unit for the Beaumont Police Department went into service Saturday. The portable dispatching center can go anywhere in the city.

It's capable of everything from making things run smoothly at the popular Cherry Festival to handling standoffs with suspects and police response to major fires.

The 3-ton Chevrolet box van has room for two police dispatchers, communication equipment, computers, a fax machine and other equipment.

"It's completely self-contained on scene," said Sgt. Jeff Schuler. "Beaumont is a growing city and this will be a big plus."

The new command center uses wireless communication.

Police calls for crimes or special events can be dispatched directly through the Mobile Command Unit and take the strain off the main dispatch center at the station, Schuler said.

Police can also map out their strategy at the scene from the Mobile Command Unit.

Beaumont Police acquired the 1992 Chevy van from a private company that used the vehicle for environment testing. The van cost about $ 13,500 to purchase and equip. It comes with two generators and restroom facilities.

It replaces a 1978 van the Police Department had been using as its mobile command center.

Copyright 2008 Press Enterprise

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