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PD Gets Mobile Station

Consider taking an entire police station to a crime scene. It's what Banning Police Department's Mobile Command Center does. The state-of-the-art center - which looks like a white, 34-foot motor home with blue lettering - runs on 490 horsepower and is equipped with satellite radio and satellite phones. It can run off microwave or cellular technology. 

"In case we have a major incident like a homicide or a scenario where officers need to be on scene for several hours to several days to several weeks, we can use it like an office," said Officer Joe Feola, one of two officers capable of deploying the command center. 
Banning Police Department's new command center is now the only one in the Pass area. And police officials say they plan to make it accessible to surrounding cities and agencies during emergencies. 
"We would run it for them in their cities," Feola said. "We have it, we paid for it, but if something major goes on in the city and they need it and asked, we'd be happy to deploy it for them." 
The more than $300,000 vehicle was financed primarily with money from the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, along with grants from the state Department of Homeland Security and other state grants. 
"The good thing is that we formed a strong partnership with the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, and through their support, we've been able to work together toward a common goal of interest for public safety in our community," said Deputy Police Chief Leonard Purvis. 
It took about nine months to find, design and build the command center. It was built by Farber Speciality Vehicles and completed last November. However, it wasn't ready for operations until about a month ago, Feola said. 
The front portion of the command center is designed for the administrative area and the back portion is designed for the dispatch area. 
The prospect of having a command center began when Police Chief John Horton presented the idea to the city, Feola said. 
And with the growing population in the Pass area - as well as the rest of the Inland Empire - the command center will likely be in demand. 
"You can't predict the future, but you can predict the patterns, and if something major happens and you're not prepared for it, it's much tougher to deal with the situation," Feola said. "This is going to help us deal with a major crime or a major disaster. We're ready." 
San Bernardino County Sun
By: Mona Shadia, Staff Writer