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Colonie Announces Funding For New Mobile Command Post

Assemblyman Phil Steck, Colonie Town Supervisor Paula Mahan and State Senator Neil Breslin.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas
Assemblyman Phil Steck, Colonie Town Supervisor Paula Mahan and State Senator Neil Breslin.

An Albany County town is getting funding for a new mobile command center.

Officials say last year the town of Colonie responded to more than 93,000 police, fire, and EMS incidents.  With more than 83,000 residents, plus a daytime commuter population of more than 200,000, Supervisor Paula Mahan says the current 40-year-old mobile command center is unable to meet first responders' needs.  

"It's all about being prepared for any type of major incidents," Mahan said. "Sometimes these incidents are very complex, they can be very serious. We hope that these types of things don't happen, but we take a pro-active approach and have to be prepared for that."

Mahan says those complex scenarios can include natural disasters, large fires, and law enforcement-related incidents. The Democrat, who is seeking a seventh term on Tuesday, says public safety is her top priority. 

"Assemblyman Phil Steck and Senator Neil Breslin have both given us an award for $250,000 each, $500,000 for a new mobile command post," she said. 

110th District Democratic state Assembly member Phil Steck says replacing the old post will strengthen services both within the town and bordering municipalities.  

"Our police and EMS are among the most respected anywhere, and certainly at the top of the list in terms of effectiveness in our town, so we do everything that we can to assist them in doing their work," said Steck. 

Senator Neil Breslin, also a Democrat, says when he and Steck had a look at the old vehicle, they knew that a replacement had to be made, swiftly.

"We understood the need, and the need is great," Breslin said. "The town of Colonie is the center, and to have that vehicle where various police agencies and fire agencies can use it and share it, to come up with the best possible way to address major major problems with fires, hurricanes, bad storms, it's through this vehicle as a command center."

Officials hope to have the new command post operational within a year. They say research has to be done, bids have to go out, and once they get the new mobile command post it will take a few months to outfit before it's up and running.

Republican George Scaringe is looking to unseat Mahan in next week’s election.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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