By CAMILA VELLOSO — The Hyattsville City Police Department (HCPD) debuted its first-ever Mobile Communications and Command Vehicle at this year’s Anniversary Parade on April 27.
The vehicle, also known as the mobile command center (MCC-1), is designed to operate as a “stand-alone mini police station” at public events and to support public safety, according to Sgt. Richard Hartnett, Hyattsville City Police Department’s technical services manager.
“The new mobile command center is a welcome addition to the Hyattsville Police Department’s vehicle fleet, and will serve as a multi-function, multi-purpose utility vehicle at many police and city-wide events,” Hartnett said.
The vehicle can also serve as a “backup police communication center should dispatchers ever be forced to leave the regular communications center due to fire or other emergency in the police headquarters building,” Hartnett said.
The mobile command center originally belonged to the Prince George’s County Office of Public Safety Communications, but had been functioning as a backup unit for the past six years after the county purchased a new vehicle, Hartnett explained.
In January 2017, Hartnett learned the Prince George’s County Government planned to retire the vehicle and worked with the Office of Public Safety Communications to procure the unit.
The county eventually donated the vehicle to the City of Hyattsville in April 2018 at no cost. That month, the Hyattsville City Council unanimously voted to accept the mobile command center into the police vehicle fleet.
“We are grateful for Sergeant Hartnett and Prince George’s County for this generous donation,” said HCPD Chief Amal Awad.
The mobile command center, a 1993 International truck, only needs minor upgrades despite its age, Hartnett said. In October 2018, the city council allocated funds up to $39,000 for improvements to the vehicle, including new electronics.
Outfitted with vinyl wrap and the department’s lettering, the mobile command center features wireless telephone and computer network access, video cameras and monitors, electric power generator, roof-mounted air conditioners and a propane furnace for heating. It can also host up to a dozen individuals inside comfortably.
“Many residents and neighboring communities have complimented us on MCC-1’s appearance, and some neighboring communities have asked that we participate in their anniversary parades,” Awad said. “It’s definitely an ice-breaking conversation piece.”
Hyattsville’s new mobile command center will make its next appearances at the Edmonston Day Parade on June 8.