Department of Sanitation Gets High-Tech Command Centers

By Kristina Skorbach, Epoch Times
December 5, 2013 Updated: December 5, 2013

NEW YORK—A large white truck parked outside Brooklyn Borough Hall revved up as it waited to be passed on to the head of the city’s sanitation department. The vehicle is one of three mobile command centers that will provide a base for communication during emergencies.

All-equipped command centers have been on the agency’s wish list for a long time, according to New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Commissioner, John Doherty.

“When we had Sandy, we really saw that we needed something like this,” Doherty said. “It’s a perfect vehicle to operate out of.”

The command center has a meeting room equipped with a wall-mounted couch, drop-down chairs, white boards, and a table. A TV displays feeds from the cameras on top of the truck.

A short corridor leads to a small kitchenette with a switchboard, radio transmission control lights, and a printer and fax machine. The back section is a tight space with five work stations that have screens and table-tops with outlets. The vehicle has its own wireless internet.

Centers like these will be used during emergency situations, snow storms, or during large events where the DSNY will need to coordinate communication efforts and collaborate with other agencies. The vehicle can transmit information to DSNY headquarters.

On a full tank of gas, the center can sustain itself some 30 hours.

One more command center will be presented to Staten Island and another for city-wide efforts, each costing $315,000. The first of the trucks, which was on display in Brooklyn, was bought shortly after Sandy, and has not yet been used.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who allocated funds for the Brooklyn truck, emerged from the borough hall with a large golden key. He gave the key to the Doherty and they sealed the deal with a handshake.

Walking through the truck, Markowitz marveled and said it was beautiful.