Command Unit Program
2023 NACo Achievement Award Winner
Howard County, Md., MD
Best In Category
About the Program
Category: Risk and Emergency Management (Best in Category)
The Howard County Command Unit Program is comprised of specialized emergency response units designed to provide a centralized command and control system during a no-notice incident or scheduled event. The command unit acts as the central point of communication and decision-making, allowing emergency responders to work together more effectively. The outcomes of a command unit can be significant. By providing a centralized command and control system, emergency responders can work more efficiently and effectively, which can ultimately save lives and prevent further damage during an emergency or disaster. While recognizing the importance of a well-developed Command Unit program and how that can greatly improve the Countyâs response efforts, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and Howard County Police Department (HCPD) started developing and implementing new programmatic practices, such as an onboarding and training program, internal procedures, processes, and policies for both Operators and Program Managers, which no previous documentation had existed. Additionally, OEM and HCPD began retrofitting outdated/non-functioning technology within the Mobile Command Posts (MCPs) and support resources. Since development and implementation of these programmatic documents, the Program has since shared these best practices with neighboring jurisdictions so they too can start bolstering their existing structures within their programs.