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'Filling' a Communications Cavity

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2008
2 pages
This paper describes how a 30-foot mobile U.S. Navy dental clinic was transformed into a mobile communications center with satellite telephone, wireless Internet, computer terminals, and a radio interconnect device.

This transformation occurred under the Federal 1033 Excess Property Program and the combined efforts of the North Carolina Law Enforcement Support Services (NCLESS), the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC)-Southeast, and Border Research and Technology Center (BRTC). Both NLECTC-Southeast and BRTC are programs of the U.S. Justice Department's National Institute of Justice (NIJ). The 1033 Program permits the Secretary of Defense to transfer, without charge, excess U.S. Department of Defense supplies and equipment to State and local law enforcement agencies. NCLESS already had the ability and the staff through their 1033 Program to assist in this regard. The first step in the transformation was to strip out the dental chairs and other equipment and divide the vehicle into two "rooms," one primarily for communications and the other for meetings. Additional equipment installed included a police agency radio, a marine radio, a citizens band radio, a ham radio, four computers, and an overhead projector. If the vehicle goes to a disaster area, there is a satellite telephone connection, and local agencies can bring in their laptops and use the wireless connection if they have lost their own Internet capabilities. New, a fully equipped vehicle of this type would have cost between $200,000 and $300,000. The transformation cost $36,000. An inset box in this paper describes the various Federal excess property programs, namely, the 1033 Program, the 1122 Program, the Surplus Property Donation Program, and the 1401 Technology Transfer Program.

Date Published: March 1, 2008