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Profile: Melbourne, Florida, Mobile Unified Command Post

Author: Ray Desmarais, Communication Center Manager, Melbourne PD

Copyright: Copyright 9-1-1 Magazine, Feature Content

Date: 2017-06-22
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Photos by Dave Larton, Associate Editor

The Melbourne (Florida) Police Department utilizes a 35 Foot Mobile Unified Command Post (UCP). The unit was custom built and donated to the Melbourne Police and Fire Departments by NACS (North American Custom Specialty) vehicles of Melbourne, Florida. This specialized vehicle was put into service in May of 2013.

The trailerized unit features dual slide-outs to create more work space, a conference room, a bathroom, and is powered by a 20 kW generator. There are workstation spaces for ten to twelve personnel. The UCP is also outfitted with a fridge, microwave, coffee maker, and printer, as well as six television monitors spread throughout the unit in addition to the 60-inch monitor mounted outside the unit under an extendable awning. We also have a 12-position internal phone system that operates off of VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). A high definition 30 foot telescopic external camera, with zoom pan and tilt capabilities, is carried on the external mast. The unit has four external positional and telescopic lighting systems for incident scene illumination.


Connectivity to and from the unit is possible through a state of the art VSAT system, as well as a separate state of the art pepwave serves as a backup for connectivity. The pepwave utilizes more than one simcard and offers the ability to utilize the sim cards to operate separately or combine them to make a large data pipeline in the event of a large scale incident or if the need for a larger data line is needed. A separate MIFI has also been installed to assist with connectivity and data usage. The command post also includes satellite TV, a cable TV hook up, as well as digital TV capabilities.

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We have installed a radio GATEWAY to the data area of our Unified Command Post. This will provide us the ability in the field to create a communication bridge and obtain interoperable communications between many facets of radio systems. We have capabilities to tie in with live video feed from our Crisis Negotiations Unit Trailer as well as their various camera systems they utilize. We are currently working on obtaining the video feed from the Brevard County Sheriff’s helicopter units which will enable us to pipe a direct live camera feed into the command post. We have five positions outfitted with 800 MHz systems as well as two other stations that have UHV/VHF capabilities as well as direct contact with our local airport systems.

Staffing inside the Unified Command Post is limited to the Incident Command Staff structure. This is the Incident Commander, Operations Chief, Planning Chief, Logistics Chief, as well as Admin Chief and Public Information Officer. These members will occupy the conference room area. Any time the Unified Command Post is deployed we will also deploy our Incident Dispatch Team (IDT), which consists of a four person immediate response personnel. IDT members are issued laptops with full functioning CAD dispatch functions. This allows the team to operate within the Unified Command Post or outside anywhere they are needed to support incident command. Upon arriving inside the unit, IDT personnel have the ability to connect to the six mounted computer monitors within the dispatch area of the UCP. All other personnel are housed outside the unit and they can monitor the incident as well as video feeds via the large screen monitor on the side of the trailer.  


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