New York, NY—Thanks to Councilman Ben Kallos’ (D-5) office, the NYPD’s 17th Precinct now has a state-of-the-art mobile command center that will be parked at East 47th Street and 1st Avenue.
Kallos joined the 17th Precinct’s brass this morning for a ribbon cutting to officially launch the deployment of the new $500,000 mobile command center that will be used for large-scale events such as the United Nations General Assembly, street festivals and parades.
Kicking off the speaking portion of the event, the 17th Precinct’s Commanding Officer, Captain Aaron C. Edwards, thanked Kallos and his office for the funds to purchase a critical asset for policing in the community.
“This vehicle is going to serve as our mobile workstation at large scale events, it's equipped with computer equipment, secure Internet, surveillance cameras, and it allows us to really work outside the precinct seamlessly, and so this is a tool that we really need. [We] really appreciate this from the constituents, from [Kallos’s} office—this just keeps us going into 2022 and beyond with the technology. I just want to thank you again for this. This is a wonderful gift, and we are going to use it,” said Edwards.
Kallos followed Edwards, and he noted that the city currently has incredible challenges fighting crime.
“If you paid attention during the June election or if you are paying attention to the November election, it is something that residents are particularly concerned about. And as we fight crime, we need to have modern tools, and also helps to have a good relationship and listen to the experts,” said Kallos.
According to Kallos, his office has invested over $1 million in the precincts in his district, including the 19th and 23rd Precincts. But the 17th Precinct is in unique situation because the United Nations is within the confines of the 17th Precinct’s district.
“We just got through United Nations General Assembly—not all precincts are created equal, some precincts have more responsibility than others. The 17th is, well, fortunate enough to not only have to protect the residents here, but they also have to protect a President of the United States, and they have to protect the heads of states and presidents of nations all over the world, and they have to do that with the same resources as pretty much every other precinct, and now they have a new tool to help with that,” Kallos said.
After the ribbon cutting, we interviewed both Edwards and Kallos.
Edwards explained how the addition of the new mobile command center is important to the 17th Precinct.
“This mobile command center is going to be used as our mobile workstation at large scale events such as the United Nations General Assembly, parades and street festivals. It allows us to have secure internet access, computer workstations and other communications' equipment,” Edwards said.
Some other features, according to Edwards, include a 360-degree view of surveillance videos, which can be accessed anywhere from within the department. Another feature is a display screen on the command center’s exterior, which Edwards said will provide a community benefit.
“We can actually hook up a gaming console to it—stuff the community might like—we can challenge kids to some [Sony] PlayStation 5 games,” noted Edwards.
Edwards also stressed the seamless communication between the command center on East 47th Street and 1st Avenue and the precinct’s office on East 51st Street and 3rd Avenue.
“Absolutely, and that’s the importance of this. When you have large scale events, you want to be able to communicate effectively with not just the precinct personnel but your outside partners, and this mobile command center will allow for that,” said Edwards.
Meanwhile, Kallos in the interview added, “I think residents will be really happy knowing that this is here as a resource, and I think folks will be able to sleep a lot better at night.”