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Published: Sunday, 2/26/2006

Police mobile command center ready for service in Perrysburg

Perrysburg's new mobile command center is ready to help police fight terrorism and aid festival crowds.

The center, housed in a trailer that has a kitchenette and toilet as well as communications equipment, was recently completed and is ready for service, Mayor Nelson Evans said.

The trailer was donated to the city by VJ's Towing of Perrysburg. City workers transformed it into a command center. The work was done for under $10,000, Mr. Evans said.

"The fire and street departments fixed it up," he said.

City Administrator John Alexander called the mobile command center a homegrown project. The trailer could be used as a command center for events that draw large crowds, such as the July Fourth fireworks or Harrison Rally Days.

Officials said they do not want to have to use it for anything more serious.

"Hopefully we will not ever have to use it in conjunction with the mass casualty trailer and the [hazardous materials] trailer stored in Perrysburg Township," Mr. Alexander said.

Police Chief Rick Gilts said the department had planned to buy a mobile command center in 2007 and had estimated paying about $90,000 for one.

"We spent significantly less than that," he said.

The department can use the trailer at major events to give the public a place to access the police, the chief said, or as a way station for officers to make reports or use communications equipment at festivals as well as during emergencies.

"It's capable of administering our communications should we ever have to vacate the police station," Chief Gilts said.

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