County OKs request for emergency vehicle purchase

By Mike Heronemus
Junction City Daily Union – April 29, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – May 6, 2014

Geary County soon could have its own mobile command unit, reducing the need for it to rely on other agencies.

Geary County Commissioners Monday unanimously approved Sheriff Tony Wolf’s request for the joint purchase of a mobile command post vehicle that could be used by all law enforcement and emergency services agencies in Geary County.

Wolf said the $85,000 purchase would be made using drug forfeiture funds collected by the county and Junction City Police Drug Task Force.

He emphasized no taxpayer money would be used to pay for the vehicle, which is currently located in Florida.

Wolf told commissioners he had dispatched two deputies to Florida Monday morning to inspect the vehicle, which he had found online.

Junction City Commissioners also would have to approve the purchase.

Junction City Police Chief Tim Brown told Count Commissioners he would present the request at the next City Commission meeting.

Representatives of the Junction City Fire Department and Grandview Plaza police and volunteer fire departments attended the meeting to voice their support of the purchase and its possible use.

Wolf and Brown reminded the commissioners of the many times in the past when such a command vehicle had to be borrowed from surrounding agencies when needed in Junction City or Geary County.

One recent instance was the drowning at Milford Lake, when Fort Riley’s mobile command post had been borrowed.

Another was the homicide case for which the county borrowed the FBI’s mobile unit.

In other instances, command posts had been borrowed from Riley County and the Kansas Highway Patrol.

The mobile command post in question operates on diesel fuel, has been driven 9,956 miles and is outfitted with a 25-kilowatt generator, a weather station, UHF, VHE, marine and “ham” radios, and a video camera mounted on a telescoping and swiveling arm.

Wolf and Brown told commissioners all the radio equipment would be compatible with what the city and count already uses, and that upgrades would be kept to a minimum. Upgrades could be paid for using a grant the city is expecting to receive, Brown said.

Brown also said the police department could sell the trailer it now uses as a command post for the annual Sundown Salute to help cover extra expenses should some arise.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster