City unveils new mobile command

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Rome police and fire departments, along with Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo, Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-47, Rome, and local business representatives unveiled the city’s new $275,000 Mobile Command Center in the parking lot of Pinti Field this morning.

The Mobile Command Center is a trailer engineered for response to unique public safety situations, such as major crime investigations, fires and natural disasters. The center will be utilized not only by the police department, but also the fire department and Department of Public Works personnel in response to serious situations like water main breaks and sewer leaks.

Police Chief Kevin C. Beach thanked public officials, particularly Sen. Griffo, for helping to secure the grants needed to make the command center a reality. He also commended the work of Deputy Chief Kevin M. Simons, who was in-charge of the project.

Beach said the department’s former command center was an old bus from the 1990s donated by the city that had not only become obsolete but hazardous for use.

During an emergency response, “The generator was not working, fumes were choking out the officers and it was leaking fuel into the street,” the chief said. Izzo and Public Safety Commissioner Frank Retrosi Jr. happened to also respond to the scene. “That’s when we started to have a conversation on how to start looking for funding to replace the Mobile Command Center, and the mayor reached out to senator Griffo,” Beach explained.

In 2017, Griffo secured the $275,000 in funding for a vehicle to be used by the police department, fire department and Department of Public Works.

The project went out to bid and was awarded to Rolling Star Manufacturing in Barneveld, and A&P Master Images in Utica was hired to design and apply the Rome Police logo on the side of the trailer.

“We’re excited to have the finished product and have this high-tech new piece of equipment to help us out for years to come,” Beach said. The center will help police, fire and public works personnel, “develop an action plan and take care of situations in real time,” he added.

Sen. Griffo thanked first responders for their service and said he was pleased that such a project, involving local companies, would help meet the public safety needs of the community.

“Part of serving the public is protecting them,” Griffo said. “Our first responders are exceptional individuals who do an amazing job every day. I know this Mobile Command Center will serve the community well.”

Izzo said she was “appalled” by the condition of the former command center, and explained that all it took was a phone call to Griffo to get the ball rolling.

She also thanked Rolling Star for their “tremendous job in building such a great command center.”

Griffo then added that the command center was made possible with the partnerships of “homegrown” businesses like Rolling Star, A&P Images and Mohawk Valley Freightliner in Yorkville.

“Part of this is recognizing the talent that’s right here in our community,” the senator said.

Rolling Star Chief Operating Officer Dean Beck said he was pleased and humbled that his 25-year-old business was chosen to build the command center while going against some heavy competition.

“There’s so much talent in the local area and in the craftsmanship of the people who work for us,” Beck said.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the command center out in the community in the relative near future,” added Mohawk Valley Freightliner President Rick Woods.

Howard Potter, CEO of A&P Master Images, said he appreciated how the community came together to make the project possible.

“I liked seeing everyone come together to help the local community,” Potter said.

It also serves as a reminder that keeping such projects local, “means the more jobs we can create here,” he said.

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