California Highway Patrol boosts response capabilities

Published 21 February 2007

$6.4 million in grants from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security permits the force to purchase two fixed-wing aircraft, nine mobile command centers, and two water response vehicles

Having been the victim of the California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) agressive (shall we say selective?) enforcement of the speeding laws, we are loathe to praise the Chippies too highly. Yet today we doff our hats to the men and women in blue. The CHP announces this week that it had made a series of major purchases to beef up its emergency response capabilities, and as we have also been the victim of California’s various fires and earthquakes, we do not want to appear ungrateful. “It’s not a matter of if these vehicles will be needed in California, but when. The only question is ‘will we be prepared?” said CHP Assistant Commissioner Kevin Green.

Purchased with $6.4 million in grants from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and the General Services Administration’s 1122 Program, the equipment includes nine mobile command post vehicles (MCPVs) sporting satellite communications equipment (cost: $2 million/each), two additional aircraft ($4 million) and two water response vehicles (WRVs) (total cost: $289,417). While the aircraft will join a larger fleet in performing general police duties, the WRVs will focus on anti-terror and emergency response tasks, including the inspection of bridge structures, marine transport of Hazardous Device Detail teams, and support of search and rescue efforts (all, of course, in coordination with the Coast Guard if required). The use of modern communications equipment, aircraft and boats will provide an effective way for us to stretch our staffing to more adequately fulfill our homeland security and traffic safety missions,” said Green.

-read more in this agency PDF news release