- Letters to Editor
By Leo Comerlato
Eastern’s public safety department has a new tool at its disposal: a mobile command center.
The command center was provided to the police force by The Kentucky River Foothills Development Council, a local community action team that partners with universities to provide transportation opportunities.
The vehicle came at no cost to Eastern initially, but additions were made to it that amounted to approximately $11,500, said Capt. Michael Kastiz, director of emergency management.
The command center resembles a large RV, and its amenities are anything but average. It will feature a laptop that has software installed to assist in receiving emergency reports, providing assistance to those who need it and bridging communication channels, which will allow inter-agency communication if an emergency might affect people off campus. Additionally, the Madison County Emergency Management Agency and Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) will be providing radio equipment for the command center.
Campus police said the command center will be used in a case-by-case basis and will be available to law enforcement agencies across Madison County. The command center is meant to act as an easily identifiable structure for first responders in the event of an emergency.
One function of the command center is running the guest assistance program at Eastern football games. The program allows people in the stadium to text MAROON to 78247 in order to notify campus police of any emergency issue or request help. The mobile command center will be parked in the police parking lot across from the stadium, allowing campus police to respond faster to emergency messages.