Peoria Donates Command Van to Katrina-Blasted Mississippi Town

It's good to have friends like the City of Peoria.

The city developed a relationship with Long Beach, Mississippi, after the Gulf Coast town was ravaged in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina, (the same storm that wiped out New Orleans). Peoria donated office equipment and vehicles to help the municipal government get back on its feet.

Four years later, Peoria found itself with an extra mobile command vehicle, which is like an office on wheels for use in emergencies.

That's Long Beach Police Chief Wayne McDowell and Mayor William Skellie Jr. with the vehicle in the above picture.

A new van was recently purchased with RICO funds. So, like a rich uncle giving a teenager his first car, Peoria decided to donate its 1997 command vehicle to the Long Beach police department. Cops set off in the thing last Wednesday and arrived a couple of days ago in the Mississippi town.

That had to have been a fun road trip -- the command van's sort of like an RV. We're imagining an onboard fridge stocked with plenty of 12-ounce exhibits.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.