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The ICV enhanced the capabilities of the existing fleet of command post vehicles usually deployed to prolonged events such as riots, fires, earthquakes, and floods. Due to a number of factors, such as special licensing and training, and issues regarding mobility and accessibility to certain locations, the Department required a solution for a more versatile and mobile platform.

The mobile platform would provide a solution with similar capabilities of the larger command post vehicles and respond to emergency incidents more rapidly. The ICVs have been deployed to the eight CHP Divisions statewide to provide improved communications, situational awareness, as well as command and control capabilities when responding to emergency incidents within the state.

The CHP ICVs have been deployed to several incidents including the Oakland freeway collapse, the Lake Tahoe fire, and the Hollister motorcycle rally.

  • April 29, 2007, a tanker truck caught fire after being involved in a traffic collision on a major freeway interchange, in Oakland, California. As a result of the fire, the freeway connector ramp collapsed.

  • June 24, 2007, Lake Tahoe, California experienced a major forest fire (Angora Fire) which destroyed 3,100 acres and 254 homes and structures and threatened the safety of countless people.

  • July 6-8, 2007, during the Hollister, California, motorcycle rally, tens of thousands of motorcycle riders and tourists converged upon the town of Hollister which normally has a population of less than 40,000. The rally has brought an unsavory element in past years which has created both a public and officer safety challenge.

The rapid deployment of the ICVs during these incidents provided the CHP a direct link between allied agencies and first responders and has resulted in the immediate response, recovery, and mitigation of these incidents.

The Future - What are the Benefits?

The ICVs allow the Department to determine quickly the number of personnel needed, both departmental and allied agencies, thereby reducing the number of officers required during an incident and consolidating resources with allied agencies (i.e., patrol vehicles and mobile command post vehicles). The expeditious response and mitigation of incidents results in less loss of property, lives, etc.

As a result of the rapid response capability of these vehicles, notifications to media outlets during critical incidents, results in accurrate dissemination of information to the public which further enhances public safety, as well as officer safety.

Who Benefits?

While the California Highway Patrol's (CHP) primary mission is the management and regulation of traffic on freeways and county roads, its secondary mission concerns its status as a statewide law enforcement agency. In this capacity, the Department stands ready to assist local agencies during emergencies exceeding their capabilities. This mission requires the Department to communicate with multiple agencies using varied and disparate radio systems.

Lack of coordinated communications could result in delayed response, prolonging the incident, and possibly jeopardizing public safety. The consolidation of communications and other enforcement equipment in the vehicle environment provide effective command, control, coordination, and sharing of information with numerous criminal justice, public safety agencies, and first responders for incidents that require coordinated response. The ICVs are an optimal mobile environment providing immediate response during an emergency situation to minimize the threat to the health and safety of the public and first responder personnel.

The ICVs provide law enforcement personnel command and control at major incidents (such as multiple injury/fatal traffic collisions), major crimes/freeway violence (including drug enforcement), emergency events (ranging from airplane crashes to riots), catastrophic incidents (such as major earthquakes, landslides, fires, and floods), and countless multi-agency jurisdictional events. When deployed to a scene, the ICV is used as a communications, video, and incident command post center to direct incident command and enforcement operations. The vehicle has the ability to receive streaming video from the CHP and allied agency aircraft, provide a 360 degree view of the incident, as well as access to multiple telephone options (satellite, cellular, VoIP, fax, copier, scanner, and landline). Disparate radio systems can be consolidated via a gateway interconnect solution providing communications to agencies involved in an incident to ensure dissemination of accurate information. In addition, the CHP can utilize the technology of the ICV to develop a written alternate traffic and operations plan, as well as access departmental computer databases relative to the incident.

As part of the Department?s efforts to provide improved communications, situational awareness, in addition to command and control capabilities when responding to and managing emergency incidents in the state, ICVs have been deployed statewide at each CHP field Division. Each Division can deploy the ICV for direct voice communication between participating agencies in both short term (organized protests, pursuits or criminal apprehensions, fires, evacuations, etc.) and long term incidents (major disaster, large scale fires and floods, civil disturbances, terrorist incidents, etc.). The enhanced ICV communications gateway system interconnects different radio channels over various radio frequency bands which will provide real time, field unit-to-unit communications to participating agencies. In effect, this will provide immediate interagency interaction and facilitate quicker response and mitigation of the incident. In the event that a local infrastructure has been destroyed, the ICV allows CHP personnel to mobilize a command center where needed. In effect, an ICV could replace a CHP Area office, given the capability of telephone, internet, email, and satellite television services.