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Village Police to Replace Mobile Command Unit

Thu, 12/02/2021 - 09:04

East Hampton Village will soon replace its old mobile police command unit — a retrofitted delivery truck — with a brand-new, more sophisticated one that will cost $695,000.

While village officials said it might seem expensive, the Pierce Fire Apparatus Mobile Command Vehicle is “well worth the investment,” said Chief Michael Tracey during the village's Nov. 19 board meeting.

Mayor Jerry Larsen noted that the truck will serve all of the fire and emergency medical service departments in East Hampton Town. “The village is the 911 center for the entire township,” he said. “We dispatch all the fire and EMS [calls] from Montauk to Sag Harbor. We answer all the 911 calls for everyone — they come to our dispatch first. If it’s not life-threatening, we transfer it to the town police.”

Chief Tracey said the vehicle can dispatch fire and ambulance calls even while it is being driven and can be sent anywhere that dispatch is lost. “It’s unlike any other vehicle in the county,” he said. “It’s a standalone backup functioning for the 911 system, should that fail or go down. It’s a redundant system that is very good to have.”

Mr. Larsen recalled that during Hurricane Irene or Superstorm Sandy, “we lost police and fire communications from East Hampton to Montauk.” If something like that were to happen again, the Mobile Command Vehicle would be called into service.

The board unanimously approved the purchase. Asked by Arthur Graham, a trustee, how long it would take to get the vehicle, Chief Tracey said that due to supply chain delays and shortages, it could be a year before it arrives in East Hampton.


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