WESTFIELD, NJ — The Westfield Police gave tours of its new mobile command center to the public today at the Spring Fling Street Fair held in Downtown Westfield. The vehicle, purchased recently by the town for $249,000, was delivered this week.
“I’m glad we had it for today so we can put it on exhibit and show the townspeople the preparations that the police department and town council have made for future events and ensure the safety of all the town residents,” said Westfield Police Chief David Wayman.
The public was allowed into the command center, though photos of the interior were not allowed. Lt. Christopher Battiloro and other members of the police department were on hand to explain what people saw.
Inside are four work stations, a small conference room, radios, a refrigerator, microwave, freezer, fire extinguishers and a full EMS cabinet “equipped to handle just about any emergency,” said Battiloro. The command center has internet capability and a bit of old-fashioned technology, as well—the walls and tables are dry-erase boards.
Outside on top, a camera is mounted on a 50-foot mast, providing views from all around on a flat-screen monitor inside. A hatch also allows police to climb on top to survey the scene themselves. Floodlights on the roof can be raised and lowered and are capable of lighting a football field.
The command center can serve as a secondary 911 dispatch center and includes a generator, though the vehicle itself can run off of several types of energy sources.
“We can actually deliver power to the public with this. There are outlets on the outside to make it a charging station,” said Battiloro.
All of the graphics on the outside of the command center are reflective, giving it high visibility.
“The people that designed this really didn’t hold back,” said Battiloro.
In addition to emergencies like Superstorm Sandy, the command center could be used at large events, he said, including street fairs like this one. Whenever it is used, officers have an opportunity to get more aquainted with it.
In order to be prepared for any emergency, Battiloro noted, “We’re going to train with it a lot.”