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Edward D. Reuss
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      On Saturday, December 9, 2006, a Mock Mobilization was conducted by the NYPD to test the response and notification system for the new Retiree Mobilization Plan (RMP)

      Members were notified to respond to one of the designated mobilization locations that will be used in an actual emergency.  The purpose of the exercise was to test the notification system and response of the members of the RMP.   The mobilization area was a highly secure location with access restricted to those with both NYPD Identification cards and the newly designed RMP identity cards.

      Sgt Thomas Ditrano and Det Paul Lamberti verified the bar coded list as members checked in to the Mock Mobilization location

      The new RMP Identification Cards were verified as members checked in at the Mock Mobilization.  As the retirees checked in,  they received printouts detailing the structure of the Incident Command System.  The need to know the language of the Incident Command System and the modular system of the ICS is an obvious training need.
      Sergeant Thomas Ditrano and Detective Paul Lamberti ,  Office of the Chief of Personnel, verified the validity of each member and scanned the bar code assigned. The bar coded information was entered the system for preparation of computerized Detail Roster Sheets.  The advantage of this system gives commanders vital information in real time.   The Incident Command System relies on timely and accurate information. The data compiled by the Staging Officer at check in locations is accessible to the Planning Section Chief.   The Planning Chief  works closely with the Incident Commander who must have accurate information about all resources available for assignment.   The Planning Officer also prepares a Incident Action Plan (IAP) for each operational period.  Thus, the vital role of the bar-coded identity cards. 

      Deputy Chief George Anderson, XO, Personnel Bureau and Capt Theresa Tobin, CO Staff Support Services share ideas and input from the RMP members.

      The Office of the Chief of Personnel has the vital information of retired members of the NYPD and as such can quickly verify the status and authenticate the validity of responding members. Security is an obvious concern of the NYPD when a plan such as the RMP is implemented.

      Lieutenant Michael Ryan, Coordinator of the Retiree Mobilization Plan
      met with the retirees and introduced them to members of the Aviation Unit and members of the Counter Terrorism Unit of Patrol Borough Manahattan South.   His positive attitude and professionalism render him a valuable asset to this program.

      Lt. Michael Ryan, Coordinator of the Retiree Mobilization Plan

      The retirees were introduced to members of Patrol Borough Manhattan South Counter Terrorism Unit who displayed the Duty Captain Response Vehicle.

      This vehicle serves as the Incident Command Post for the use of the Duty Captain who will in many cases be the highest ranking member of the NYPD at the initial response to an emergency.   In many incidents, the use of the Captains Response vehicle will suffice as the Duty Captain will act as the Incident Commander without the need of an Operations Section Chief as well as Planning, Logistics, and Administration Sections. The value of such a ICP vehicle rests on the idea that the Incident Command System should be an “All Hazards” system.  Even in routine incidents, the system must be used  so that training needs and feedback will identity potential problems.

      However, more serious  incidents involving Mass Casualties ( MCI) would require the use of larger vehicles to accomodate the expansion of the modular Incident Command System. 

      Lt. Joseph Grogan and Det Vincent Falcone, PBMS

      Lieutenant Joseph Grogan and Detective Vincent Falcone , PBMS Counter Terrorism Unit explained the capabilities of the Duty Captains Response Vehicle.  The key to any emergency incident regardless of size is to establish a command post for the Incident Commander.    Formerly, one of the first problems faced by Duty Captains and patrol sergeants was to establish a location for the “Temporary Headquarters” in the street.  This usually was the ground floor of a building with an available bank of telephones.  This was fine if the incident occurred in areas such as Manhattan.  However, if the incident occured in an area without such facilities,  it was never easy to find a suitable location for the temporary headquarters.  The implementation of the new Duty Captains Response Vehicle is an obvious need that has been fulfilled.  The computer technology and communicative capabilities of this vehicle makes the Duty Captain a true Incident Commander who can communicate in real time with upper management and units involved in the incident.

      The Aviation Unit provided the venue and opportunity for members of the RMP to see the capabilities of the NYPD to deal with large scale incidents.

      Sgt Vic Mevo, Pilot, Aviation Unit, NYPD

      Sergeant Victor Mevo, a pilot assigned to the NYPD Aviation Unit explained the new equipment and role of the Aviation Unit.  

      Sgt Vic Mevo addressed the volunteers of the RMP

      Sergeant John O’Hara, Pilot, Aviation Unit, NYPD

      I had the opportunity to talk with Detective Fernando Almeida, Aviation Unit, NYPD, who explained some of the equipment on board the aircraft.

      Det. Fernando Almeida, Aviation Unit, NYPD

      Det. Almeida indicated how the aircraft had the capablilty of locating officers requiring assistance under worse case scenarios.   The use of GPS technology enabled the NYPD Aviation Unit to respond, locate, and render assistance under conditions such as total blackouts.   During our conversations, we discussed how our troops in Iraq must purchase at their own expense, hand-held GPS instruments such as the Garmin.  The troops who oftentimes are on patrol in areas during the night and perhaps need to call in fire support or medical exacuation need these tools to advise responding choppers of their exact location. GPS technology enables them to do this.  The use of GPS in vehicles renders that vehicle a valuable asset in emergency management.  Knowledge that such a vehicle can serve as a GPS locater for police and firefighters is a valuable piece of information for those who work in emergency management.

      One of the areas that is of vital importance to police and emergency managers is the possibility of the loss of communications during incidents such as terrorism or natural disasters.   When the attack on the World Trade Center disrupted telecommunications services, even cell phones were disabled. 

      The value of ham radio operators and citizen’s band (CB) radios is an area of communications that I became familiar with when I was a patrol sergeant. Police Officer Harry Roschbach would be assigned with me and he owned a CB radio.  He would sometimes bring his CB radio on patrol and we would monitor the “Breaker 19” calls of the truck drivers as they passed us on the West Shore Expressway.  It was amazing how the truckers with their CB radios would watch every move that we made.   The truckers would transmit our position because they believed we were clocking them. “Smokey is on the overpass and definitely taking pictures!” they would say. 

      The capabilities of the CB radio was not lost on me.  They function much like the walkie-talkie. The range of a CB isn’t that far. However, if needed, the truckers could pass along information down the Interstate to other truckers for as far as required.  This fact could be of great use in emergencies.  Consider how valuable this would be to an Incident Commander who had need of certain equipment.  A trucker traveling on a roadway in Florida or in the Mid-west could have a tractor-trailer loaded with the needed equipment that could save the lives of thousands.  I saw this during the weeks after the attack on the World Trade Center.  Once a logistic cache was established here in NYC, the supplies flowed into the city by non-profits and corporations such as Home Depot and others.   Should our police be equipped with CBs to monitor and communicate with coast to coast Ham radio operators as well as the thousands of truckers on our roadways?


      Lt. Mike Ryan, RMP Coordinator;  welcomes the retired members of RMP
      Photo Courtesy of NYPD Photo Unit

      RMP members are introduced to the lastest technology in ICS
      Photo Courtesy of NYPD Photo Unit

      The Red Cross was present with coffee and buns for the retirees
      Photo Courtesy of NYPD Photo Unit

      RetSgt John Gallagher, RetCapt Ed Reuss, RetSgt Steve Spinelli, RetPOKevin O’Connor

      Ben Mormino, Sgt NYPD(ret) on the left who wrote a paper on the necesssity for a program such as the Retiree Mobilization Plan with fellow RMP members, Tom Melville, Lt, NYPD(ret), and Emil Borruso

      Det Kathy Burke, NYPD (ret) member NYC Self-Support Group

      An important unit of the Incident Command System is comprised of trained members who have experience in Critical Incident Stress defusing and debriefing sessions.  The use of CISD for those who respond to incidents of mass casualties are key to the success of the mission.  It may be required to have responders attend defusing sessions at the end of each operating period during an emergency. For that reason, it was gratifiying to see retirees such as Det. Kathy Burke, NYPD (ret), who is a member of the New York City Police Self Support Group respond to this mock mobilization.  Her experience in law enforcement and the violence associated with that profession renders her a very real asset to this program.   More members trained in CISD are needed to volunteer with the RMP.

      Future Orientation sessions are scheduled for February, 2007 .  For those who wish to register as volunteers in the Retiree Mobilization Plan, just go to the following web site and register:


      With events unfolding in Iraq, this program may well prove to be of vital importance to volunteers and their families here in NYC.

      Read more about the RMP:





      Email: CaptainReuss@Verizon.net

      Web www.nycop.com


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