11/22/2004

N.Y. Town Police Have New Crime-Fighting Tool

The Town of Newburgh Police Department Friday unveiled its newest piece of equipment, a 40 foot mobile command post used for establishing command and control at major disaster sites and crime scene locations.

The refurbished New York City school bus was one of two vehicles donated by the Vehicle Donation Program. The other vehicle was given to the City of Newburgh Police Department for similar use.

Completely restored, the 1986 model school bus is now repainted, equipped with laptop computers and ready to help law enforcement officials establish command control and communications at any emergency site, to include fires, floods and aircraft emergencies. With its own diesel generators, air conditioning, cellular phones and police scanners, officials say the vehicle is ready to be dispatched anywhere in Orange County.

According to Town of Newburgh Police Chief, Charles Kehoe, the department always had an emergency response vehicle. But their previous version was a much smaller ambulance that lacked many of the sophisticated features need in today?s fast paced world of law enforcement.

"A vehicle like this is something you plan for, but hope you never have to use," said Town of Newburgh Superintendent, Wayne Booth. "We?re excited to have a piece of equipment that will help us respond to any emergency we might encounter. However, let?s hope we never need to deploy it."

The town spent $2,000 on a piece of equipment that if purchased today would cost over $100,000.

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