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Sheriff's Office Unveils New Mobile Emergency Command Center


The Washoe County Sheriff's Office has unveiled a new vehicle that will assist law enforcement agencies across Northern Nevada in responding to major emergencies. The Critical Incident Response Vehicle is a basically a big white RV on the outside - just with more lights and antennas. But that's where the comparisons stop. Inside it's a mobile technology hub with computers, touch-screen displays, radios, and a joystick for controlling a 360-degree camera mounted on top. And it can transmit Wi-Fi and cell signals for officers to use in the vicinity. Sheriff Mike Haley says it could be used for anything from a wildfire to a missing person's case, where officers could canvas a neighborhood using handheld devices that report back to a central database in the vehicle. "Where analysists can look at it and compare what is being said real-time," he said. "Rather than writing it down on a card, stacking it in a big pile and having people look at it days and weeks later." Funding for the vehicle came from about $500,000 in U.S. Department of Justice funds obtained through Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who was on hand for the unveiling. He said, in terms of fighting crime, criminals often use technology to their benefit. So this helps local law enforcement keep up. "The bad guys have always had all kinds of ways of doing things," Reid said. "And they use the Internet to perfection. And this is in effect a way of moving law enforcement into the modern era." The vehicle is the first of its kind in Nevada, and Sheriff Haley said although his department will own and maintain it, any law enforcement agency in Northern Nevada - from Reno to Elko - can use it should the need arise.