8 Ways Mobile Command Units are Used by Public Safety Agencies

Written by KOVA Corp

You’ve probably seen the scene before in movies: There’s a tense hostage situation or a bank robbery gone wrong, and the police cars and SWAT teams start rolling up. And somewhere nearby, there’s a large van or truck that looks similar to the ones that UPS and FedEx drive around, but more fortified.

Inside this truck are the people making the calls, making the decisions and making the plans. These vehicles are called mobile command centers, and they’re hugely important pieces of technology for police, firefighters and other public safety workers.

Inside these mobile command centers, you’ll find all kinds of tech, public safety software, communications gear, and other vital tools that public safety workers need to do their jobs.

Here are a few of the possible uses of mobile command centers (or MCCs) in the field.

Crime labs

Believe it or not, police don’t always have to transport evidence back to some distant crime lab to get the results they need. Many MCCs are outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment to test all sorts of potential evidence from a crime scene.

Public safety workers can get the results they need on the spot to help them do their jobs more quickly.

Bomb units

Nothing is more important in a bomb-threat situation than the ability to respond quickly, and that’s what an MCC provides. Whether it’s fast, clear communication, high-quality video cameras, or even a remotely-operated bomb-defusing robot, an MCC can be loaded with all of the necessary equipment that a bomb squad might need to keep the public as safe as possible.

Large event security

In a case where a city or community is hosting a multi-day festival or event, public safety workers often bring in more than one MCC to serve not just as mobile headquarters for those on duty, but to provide wireless surveillance of a wide area filled with hundreds of thousands of people.

Long-term surveillance

MCCs are perfect for spending days, weeks, or even months on surveillance. Whether it’s an area with a high crime rate or keeping watch on one specific structure, MCCs can be equipped to run like a full-scale police station on wheels, and they can do so indefinitely.

Search and rescue

One of the most important uses of an MCC can be in the search process for someone who’s missing or is being sought in connection to a crime. Thanks to the technology available at a public safety worker’s fingertips inside an MCC, they can help with search and rescue operations alongside the more traditional search methods.

Nothing aids a team of searchers on the scene of a hunt for a suspect or a missing person better than an MCC, because they can move with the search on a moment’s notice.


At the most basic level, an MCC can provide a temporary place for public safety workers to stay in the event of an emergency or extreme weather. They may not have all the comforts of home, but a well-stocked and fortified MCC can provide at least a temporary respite for those that protect others for a living.

A safe environment

Even if extreme weather isn’t an issue, an MCC can be a perfect place for a police officer or firefighter or other public safety worker to set up some office space.

Protected from most potentially dangerous situations even at an active crime scene, public safety officials can do paperwork, research a particular person or situation on the computers or plan the next step in an operation, all from inside an MCC.

Monitoring criminal or emergency situations in progress

The true original function of an MCC is to provide help in an active situation, whether it’s a crime, a natural disaster, or a rescue operation. That’s what MCCs are made for, and that’s still their best primary purpose. Communications, security and flexibility are all vital parts of public safety work, and an MCC can provide all of those on four wheels.

Want to learn more about public safety communications? Read our post about the nation’s first broadband network dedicated to public safety, “FirstNet and Broadband - Changing Public Safety.”

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