The largest city in Sumner County is getting some help for its police department with a new mobile command center.
The Hendersonville Police Department will use a bus as a mobile command center in situations that call for multiple units or agencies at the same time.
"If we have a hostage situation or if we have a drowning, being a lake community, we can roll this out there and set up communications," explained Lt. James Lawson.
The city's old command center stopped running and needed a lot of mechanical work. The department sold it for $2,500. The new bus, completely renovated, cost the department $8,000.
The cost was kept low because the bus was donated. Police officers did the work themselves, and local businesses donated materials.
"I hate to name them because I don't have the list with me" said Lt. Lawson. "Numerous companies that have donated, anywhere from wood for the construction of the benches to the cushions on the couches."
The bus is equipped with police, fire and marine radios. The rear of the bus will be used by hostage negotiators while the front of the bus is for command and communication.
It is also equipped with a kitchen and bathroom for when any police situations take days or even weeks.
The department sent its old command center to Mississippi to help in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.
"They worked out of that for a couple of weeks and we deployed resources down there and they cooked out of it, they lived out of it," said Lawson.
The command center will primarily be set up at city-wide events, and was most recently used during Hendersonville's Fourth of July fireworks show as a place for parents to locate lost children.
The city also procured a patrol boat that came from a government program that re-purposes excess military equipment to local law enforcement agencies.
"Anytime you have a lake community you have boating-related offenses such as BUI, unfortunately we have an occasional drowning," said Lawson. "The ability to patrol the lakes to keep crime rates down people think of crime coming into the town by the highway, but you have to think of the waterways also."
Lawson said the boat will be patrolling Old Hickory Lake by the first weekend in August.
Thursday, August 28 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-28 19:28:07 GMT
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