The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) has added a new dimension to its enforcement operations with the acquisition of a state-of-the-art field support vehicle. Ordered last fall and delivered this spring, the vehicle will serve as a centralized command post at large-scale events where alcohol enforcement operations are routine.
“This is a game-changer for us,” says Shawn Walker, director of the Bureau of Law Enforcement for Virginia ABC. “It will give us the benefit of enhanced communications, more centralized operational efficiency and a very visible ABC law enforcement presence at these highly populated events.”
In addition, the vehicle provides an opportunity for better communications with other law enforcement agencies on the ground at such events which are held statewide throughout the year. And the vehicle will be available to external agencies around the state that might not have the resources available to acquire one on their own. “It creates an opportunity for us to contribute more substantively to the partnerships with other law enforcement agencies we have relied on for help,” said Walker.
The vehicle is slightly more than 45 feet long, about eight feet wide and almost 12 feet high. It weighs 44,600 lbs. and was built by Farber Specialty Vehicles in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, a manufacturer selected for its capability and competitive pricing. It cost $750,000 and was paid for entirely by asset forfeiture funds, not taxpayer funds. It is equipped with 15 computer work stations, 10 voice over IP telephones and eight radio systems with the capability of speaking to any law enforcement agency in Virginia.
The vehicle is also equipped with satellite television and a satellite uplink for communications in remote areas of the state. Powered by a diesel engine, the vehicle gets an average of 11 miles per gallon and has a built-in generator to power electronics. Eight ABC enforcement agents will be trained to drive the vehicle and eight to 10 will be trained to operate the on-board electronics.
New Field Support Vehicle is ‘Game Changer’ for ABC