The Police Department has bought a van with sophisticated communications equipment that can serve as a command post during a hostage situation, a natural disaster or a community event.
Police Chief James Cook said the van, which was purchased with federal money, has television monitors, radios, cellular phones and a fax machine. A video camera can be mounted on the roof of the van to receive and send signals to officers inside the van or to police headquarters, he said.
"If there should be a hostage situation, we can set up quickly at the site, monitor all activity to provide constant surveillance and tactical command," Cook said.
The van, which he described as a mobile police station, can be used for such police operations as gang sweeps.