Windsor Police and Windsor Fire introduced their new joint command post vehicle to the media, Monday morning.
The new vehicle was purchased from the province at an auction and cost around $1 million to equip for use in the City of Windsor.
The new command post, which is modeled off of a fire truck chassis, replaces two existing vehicles: a bus from Windsor Police and a bus from Windsor fire and will be used at major fire scenes and police situations requiring high level coordination of police resources.
Police Chief Al Frederick responded to a what-if question should a circumstance arise where both the fire department and the police force need the vehicle at the same time. Frederick said they would prioritize the need for either organization.
Take a look inside the new command post, as well as inside the two older vehicles before they are decommissioned and sold.
New Command Post
The new command post is under joint ownership between Windsor Police and Windsor Fire. Costs will be split between the two departments.
Inside the main conference and control room of the new command post. The steel section in the centre of the room folds up to be used as a table.
Operators and key decision makers at police and fire scenes have terminals with controllable outside cameras. They’ll also be able to bring rugged laptops and connect to power and networking, while being able to use built-in radios for either fire or police situations.
Multiple cameras on the vehicle allow for enhanced situational awareness. These feeds can even be transmitted back to Windsor Fire and Windsor Police headquarters.
Four Apple iPads control four monitors in the corners of the control room. Here, Windsor Fire’s electronics technician Mike Menard demonstrates panning and zooming two tower-mounted cameras using an iPad.
A wall phone connects into the agencies’ communication systems.
The new command post is equipped with a mobile dispatching centre. Dispatchers from Windsor Fire headquarters, and dispatchers from Windsor Police headquarters can travel to the scene wherever the command post is being used and remotely dispatch other units from two terminals. Both of the terminals are fully equipped to handle Windsor Fire’s dispatching system and Windsor Police’s dispatching system.
Two stations are used for rugged laptops.
Power information is presented near the exit door.
A small kitchenette contains a sink, microwave and coffee maker for times when long fires or drawn-out police situations necessitate a break for hard working officials.
At the back of the bus there’s an interrogation room.
To make both the interrogation room and command centre bigger, the vehicle’s sides swing out much like a camper.
Two camera towers can be raised dozens of feet in the air.
The bus takes a selfie.
The new command post also has a high powered lighting unit on its roof.
Old Police Bus
The old police command bus, built in 1989, is in bad shape and, according to Police Chief Al Frederick, is often home to rats and mice.
The operations room inside the old police bus contains CCTV monitors, spools of camera cable and two heavy, tripod mounted cameras that were used to observe and record crime scenes for evidence preservation purposes.
Quadruple VCRs allowed one set to play back footage while another set still recorded from two angles.
The 1989-era vehicle features decorative elements you might find in a thrift shop.
The old police bus has primitive backup camera.
A rugged Panasonic laptop.
Velcro holds this touch tone phone to the wall inside the old command bus.
The backup camera at the rear of the bus.
Old Fire Bus
Chief Fire Prevention Officer Lee Tome exits the old Windsor Fire Command Bus. The bus was built in 1984.
Tome said it was mostly used to get out of the elements at serious fire scenes, and for fire chiefs to coordinate a fire scene with the help of a table.