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Back to Archives | Back to June 2005 Contents 

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Police Departments Use Vans to Support Officers at Special Events

Custom Mobile Food Equipment announces that police departments have joined the American Red Cross and other nonprofit organizations as users of the company's walk-in trucks, often referred to as step-vans.

In New York City, the NYPD Detectives' Endowment Association (DEA) uses a 12-foot walk-in truck to support the city's detective force when it is performing uniformed detail work for special events, such as New Year's Eve, the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the Saint Patrick's Day Parade. The truck is outfitted with a kitchen designed to help users serve food and beverages.

"Some of our members are out there for eight, 12, 16 hours," said DEA President Michael Palladino. "Sometimes they can't readily leave their post or are in a part of town where they can't find anyplace decent to grab a bite."

Getting the truck was one of the first changes Palladino made when he became DEA president last year. "It was something I wanted over the years while coming up through the ranks," he said. "It is also a way for the union board officers to get out and mingle with the membership. There's an exchange of information and some good feedback, both ways."

In New Jersey, the Camden County Department of Public Safety uses a version of Custom's disaster relief canteen truck to provide refreshments to any emergency crew called out for extended duty. "If the commander feels they are going to be on the scene for a long time our volunteer crew goes out," says Herb Steelman, director of public safety for the county. "It can be police, fire, or EMS."

Camden County will also use the unit to serve the public at any place the county or one of its municipalities has a large gathering of citizens, such as a senior health fair. The unit contains a large coffeemaker, a refrigerator, a freezer, a two-burner stove with a griddle, and room to store coolers and other items. It also features a container inside the vehicle in which to make beverages such as ice tea that can be accessed from an exterior faucet.

Custom also makes an emergency service vehicle (ESV) designed not only to serve as kitchens but to also to provide such things as restrooms and compartments to cool down or warm up in, and to carry a variety of auxiliary equipment such as generators and scene lighting.

For more information, click here, and insert number 101 in the box on the Reader Service Number response service.

D.C. Police Department Orders Suburban Response Vehicles
Odyssey announces that the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, D.C., chose the company to build a fleet of 10 Chevrolet Suburban response vehicles.

Two of the Suburbans were designed to serve as functional K-9 units featuring custom graphics, Whelen lighting, and Odyssey's custom function-coded wiring harness system and console. Odyssey designed a custom cabinet system with full extension heavy-duty slides capable of carrying 1,000 pounds in the lower tray and 500 pounds in the upper tray.

Odyseey installed a custom K-9 cage in the secondary seating position that is designed to transport dogs safely. A deep cycle gel cell battery and 1,000-watt sine wave inverter was designed to take care of all 110-volt and 12-volt power needs.

The vehicles also feature a safety component designed to keep dogs cool on hot summer days. As temperatures rise to unhealthy levels inside the vehicle, an alarm sounds to notify the K-9 officer, the windows automatically open, and a fan begins running to help keep the K-9 in safer temperatures.

The other eight Suburbans were outfitted with deep full-length cabinets for bomb squad equipment and tactical gear.

For more information, click here, and insert number 102 in the box on the Reader Service Number response service.



From The Police Chief, vol. 72, no. 6, June 2005. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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