The Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office took advantage of a training opportunity on Tuesday by conducting a saturation in Wooster while making sure it was prepared to respond in the event of severe weather.
Spokesman Adam Bledsoe said FCSO set up its Mobile Command Unit by the four-way intersection in Wooster to prepare for possible severe weather in the county Tuesday. Officials and county residents were warned of possible tornadoes across Faulkner County into the night Tuesday.
"We can pretty much do everything here," he said of the command center, noting it was equipped with radios, internet, satellite TV, a kitchen, conference room and room for a dispatcher and IT worker.
Sheriff Tim Ryals said it was important for the sheriff’s office to become familiar with the unit before the severe weather season sets in.
"With me coming in here new, we just want to make sure this is being exercised," he said. "It needs to be exercised periodically — just like anything its got a lot of moving parts, a lot of parts are computerized …. we needed to make sure everything was operational."
Because severe weather was expected in the county, Ryals said it provided the perfect opportunity to go through all of the command center’s functions.
"We’re able to do all that while doing a saturation out in the area — [providing] a lot of visibility of officers out in the area, specifically … areas where there’s been a high amount of theft reports and burglary reports," he said.
Ryals said he plans to hold saturations periodically throughout the county.
Bledsoe said the sheriff’s office was working toward a "proactive instead of reactive" approach in making sure officers were able to respond from a central location of northern Faulkner County, where the storm was expected to primarily hit.