Gregg County commissioners approve mobile command vehicle purchase with ARPA funds

The mobile unit is needed to replace the aging and obsolete unit currently used by Gregg County.
Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 3:30 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 27, 2022 at 3:31 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texas commissioners court took steps today toward securing a new state-of-the-art mobile command vehicle.

It’s a hefty price tag that Gregg County commissioners are looking at but an essential piece of equipment for first responders.

In Gregg County, commissioners approved a resolution to use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding towards the purchase of an all-purpose mobile command vehicle.

“What we’re going forward with as a proposal is to build a piece of equipment from the ground up that is designed specifically to be a command vehicle,” said Gregg County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Craig Harrington.

“It’s critical that we have a piece of equipment that we can utilize to run command for those critical incidents,” said Longview Police Assistant Chief Ben Kemper.

The need is urgent, as the current county mobile command vehicle is old and obsolete and can’t be refitted to include vital communication equipment.

“The current unit we have is built on an RV concept. We’re having issues with it. It’s an ‘05 model,” Gregg County Sheriff Maxey Cerliano told the commissioners.

“The ability to retro-fit it is no longer there,” Harrington said.

“A lot of the stuff we’re running into with our current equipment is they’re just not supportive. Parts are not supportive,” said Longview Fire Department Assistant Chief Stephen Green.

They are aware of the price tag.

“I know this is a lot of money,” Cerliano said.

The purchase price is not to exceed $1.6 million, with the county contributing 50%, not to exceed $800,000.

“Without a piece of equipment like this, we have operatives out of vehicles, on the side of the road, without a place to get together and make joint decisions,” Kemper said.

“We’re looking at something that’s going to last for a couple of decades, if necessary,” said Harrington.

The unit will be utilized by multiple Gregg County agencies.

According to the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office, the new unit has an expected delivery date of two years. By that time, their current mobile command vehicle will be 20 years old.