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Emergency Preparedness Press Release

March 04, 2010

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Franklin County Sheriff's Office Gains New Forward Operating Base

COLUMBUS, OH – This winter, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office purchased its newest mobile facility - the Reeves Incident Command Post (ICP) Trailer by DHS Technologies LLC.

The command post, which offers 161 square feet of usable space, will come complete with a BGAN satellite system and display monitors to allow personnel to access the department’s network remotely and view mug shots, background checks and other critical information from the field.

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office oversees law enforcement in and around the state’s capital city. The department, which employs about 1,000 officers and includes SWAT, bomb and dive specialty teams, also assists other sheriff’s departments in Ohio as needed.

Officers from Franklin County first began working with DHS Technologies in 2005 after seeing one of its Deployable Rapid Assembly Shelters, or DRASH, on the local news. In need of a mobile facility that could be used for various applications, they quickly decided to purchase an M Series Shelter.

“We’re faced with a lot of situations where we’re away from our emergency operations center for days at a time,” says Franklin County Sheriff Major Earl Smith. “We knew we needed something that was versatile and allowed us to be self-sufficient while working from the field. We saw the shelter as a way to have a large forward command post from which different departments could operate for extended periods of time.”

Since purchasing their DRASH shelter, personnel have deployed the facility for situations across Franklin County, including as a command center during the capital’s annual 4th of July celebration and as a remote booking area during football games at Ohio State University.

Smith says that the Sheriff’s Office decided to purchase a Reeves ICP as a way to further enhance its field capabilities after seeing the system at a local tradeshow this past fall.

“We’ve continued to work with DHS to think of ways we can use their equipment to support our community. Once we saw the ICP we knew it was exactly what we needed,” he explains.

Like its DRASH shelter, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office plans to use its ICP for numerous operations across the county, including as a forward operating base for SWAT officers during hostage and barricade situations, and as a command center in conjunction with their DRASH booking area at Ohio State football games. Pleased with its flexible, mobile design, the department expects to discover even more applications for its new incident command trailer once they receive it this spring.

“I’m sure once our guys get to see the ICP firsthand they’ll come up with a bunch of ways to use it that we have yet to imagine,” says Smith.