City to obtain mobile command center from county

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At its April 23 meeting, the Westfield City Council unanimously approved an interlocal agreement between the City of Westfield and Hamilton County to allow the city to obtain the county’s mobile command center.

The county purchased the vehicle in 2007 for approximately $2 million to be used as a back-up dispatch center. However, the county later built a standalone back-up dispatch center in Fishers, eliminating the need for the mobile command center.

City attorney Brian Zaiger detailed the agreement at the meeting.

“(The county) never utilized it and has no use for it and was possibly going to sell it for a fraction of what they paid for,” Zaiger said. “Our folks got in touch with the people controlling it and negotiated an interlocal agreement.”

The city didn’t purchase the vehicle from the county. Rather, the agreement states the city will staff the vehicle with its personnel, provide storage for the vehicle and maintain the vehicle, including insurance costs. Also, upon need requested outside of Washington Township, the city is to deliver the vehicle to the party requesting assistance.

Westfield Fire Dept. Deputy Chief of Finance and Logistics Joe Lyons said the vehicle will be stored in one of the fire department bays at the Westfield Public Safety building, 17535 Dartown Rd. Mostly, the vehicle will be used during large events such as the Colts training camp at Grand Park or Westfield Rocks the Fourth.

“Anytime there’s a large incident or a large event, we set up the command center at the event and staff it with police and fire so we can monitor what’s going on and self-dispatch,” Lyons said. “When we have large events, we have people onsite.”

Lyons said ultimately, the mobile command center would quicken public safety response times. It also provides a location for responding agencies to work together.

“If an incident were to take place, you have an office where you can interact with however many agencies are involved,” he said.

Preceding the 5-0 vote of approval, council president Jim Ake expressed positive thoughts regarding the agreement.

“I think it’s important we have that resource available to us with the amount of visitors we expect with the Colts coming to town,” he said. “I think it just strengthens our security out there and gives the public a sense of wellbeing. I think it’s a fine addition, and we are fortunate to be able to take advantage of this for the benefit of all.”

The county is scheduled to vote on the interlocal agreement on April 27. For more or to read the agreement, visit westfield.in.gov.

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