Amarillo's New Mobile Command Vehicle

Amarillo, Texas

The Amarillo Mobile Operation Center is used for SWAT incidents, grass fires, and any major event lasting more than four hours.

Now it's being phased out by the massive, state-of-the-art Mobile Command Vehicle.

"It's primarily shelter, communication, coordination between agencies, like disaster emergency management, Fire Department and anyone else that would be present at a major event," said Sgt. Brent Barbee with the APD Crime Prevention Unit.

This evening's city commission meeting was the first event the truck was set up for.

"It not only helps the police department but the rest of the city to increase our command and control capabilities," said Chief of Police Robert Taylor.

The APD wanted to show commissioners how they plan to keep citizens safe after spending nearly $800 thousand on it. And not even a penny came from the taxpayers.

"Instead of taxpayer pockets it's coming out of the pockets of people who have generated discomfort, pain or grief to taxpayers," said Sgt. Barbee.

"This was completely paid for by seized funds over the last several years the department has collected," said Chief Taylor.

Officers say this new truck improves their ability to communicate during events, as well as organize efforts more efficiently.

Technological advances like, HDTV's, infrared cameras, and encrypted radios so the truck can communicate with the swat and bomb squad.

And connects the entire city.

"It just increases the reliability of our communications from our guys in the field and the EOC in the basement of city hall," said Chief Taylor.

The first time the APD plans to make this truck fully operational is this weekend at the Fourth of July festivities at John Stiff Park.