Mobility gives law enforcement command and control on scene
The "money" matters
Federal public safety agencies receive discounts due to large-volume purchases, and now these benefits are available to state and local law enforcement.
According to the Justice Technology Information Network (JUSTNET), the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994 contained Section 1122, which allows state and local governments to purchase equipment for counter-drug activities with federal government pricing.
The General Services Administration (GSA) has approved 10 Federal Supply Schedules and the purchase of motor vehicles under the program. Individual State Points of Contact (SPOC) are responsible for all orders and determining if they can be used for counter-drug operations.
First and foremost, an agency must determine what it will use a command center for, whether it will complement a SWAT unit, be used for team transport, communications or even animal control. "After that, we decide how the vehicle should be designed," says Clarice Hobgood-Thompson, Dodgen Industries Inc.
A trend she sees occurring in the mobile command industry is a lean toward group purchases. "A lot of departments are pooling their funding resources," she says. "Then, the unit might have five workstations, one for each entity — fire, EMS, police, etc."
Visit www.justnet.org/equipment/1122.html, www.1122online.com and www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/topics/equipment/funding.htm for more information.
The Department of Homeland Security released in January its grant guidance and application kits for FY 2007. The five grant programs will total roughly $1.7 billion for state and local counterterrorism efforts.
Of that amount, the Urban Area Security Initiative will be awarded $746.9 million; the State Homeland Security Program, $509.3 million; and the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program, $363.8 million. Visit www.dhs.gov to learn more.
"Now is the time to act because it's not going to be there forever," says Hobgood-Thompson.