According to Frost, a federal grant funded $450,000 for the technology in the unit, while the city fronted the remaining $200,000 for the vehicle itself.

"It's a mobile emergency operation center," said Piringer. "It will be used for police barricades, a major fire or flooding, things of that nature."

The unit is complete with six television monitors, a mapping system and printer, a fax machine, video-conferencing ability, telephones, a radio dispatcher center, a video surveillance system and satellite television.

In addition to having security cameras surrounding the vehicle, it also has two cameras perched on top of a 40-foot retractable pole.


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Frost said footage from all of the cameras can be placed on any of the unit's mounted monitors, along with satellite television and the city's geospatial mapping system.

McLaughlin said the video conferencing, radio dispatch and built-in phones, which are wired into the city's telephone system, will allow Laurel Police to better collaborate with neighboring jurisdictions, which it does on a regular basis.

"It's great for organization, strategic planning and coming up with practical solutions in crisis situations," McLaughlin said. "It offers us a lot more options when we respond."

Frost said the new unit will replace a smaller mobile command unit that the department acquired in 2005.

The new unit is approximately 15 feet longer than the old unit, and will house three to four times the amount of officers, Frost said.

"When we talk about unified command it's about allowing us to talk," Moe said. "This unit has all the things commanders look and ask for."