PHOTOS: Here's What Halton Police Just Spent $850K On
They’re big, black, and feature tons of modern technology and communications upgrades.
“It’s probably set the bar provincially and nationally,” Halton Regional Police Deputy Chief Nish Duraiappah told the Halton Police Board on Thursday (April 26).
A pair of shiny new mobile command units (MCU) - essentially an office on wheels - were unveiled at police headquarters in Oakville.
MCU vehicles are used in a variety of crisis situations such as murder cases, missing person investigations, or even for festivals and other special events.
(Const. David Allan demonstrates how tools will be used in the primary MCU).
Price tag for taxpayers: roughly $850,000 for two vehicles — that’s after a $60,000 grant was provided for video systems.
A camera up top can zoom in and even provide a bird’s eye view.
The primary command unit is operational as of April 26 and cost about $500,000.
“These are custom vehicles,” said Insp. Derek Davis, adding “right down to the lug nut colour … this is a custom build from bumper to bumper.”
The MCU vehicles are so cool, other police services want to take a look inside, according to senior officers.
The new vehicles are expected to have a shelf life of at least 10 years, said Davis.
“We built them to be used,” he said.
One of the special features?
An exterior or outdoor TV screen.
It’s the first time a police mobile command unit has been created with a screen for public messaging, said Jason Dale, a planner in the planning and research bureau.
There’s room for about five to eight people to work comfortably inside, Dale said.
It also features one key tool in an emergency situation: a working toilet.
As for note-taking and highlighting important details, “everything you see that’s white in there is a dry erase board,” said Davis.
Then there are other forms of communication.
Negotiators, for instance, will have privacy in a back room/interview area with a separate entrance.
There’s also a touch screen table.
Halton’s original MCU from 2002 is being sold to Stratford Police for $5,000, Duraiappah confirmed, adding that’s what it was worth once the MCU was stripped of its equipment.
The new MCU vehicles are powered by diesel.