Patrol Officer David Massie has been teaming with others at the Kalispell Police Department to turn a 28' trailer purchased in the spring of 2018 into a full-fledged crime processing center for the Major Crime Unit (MCU) that can double as a negotiations center. While they are still in the process of outfitting it, the trailer worked excellent when used for the first time at a murder scene. The MCU were processing the crime scene for 19 hours. The trailer was a valuable resource for supplies and climate controlled storage of processed evidence. In the past, more trips to gather equipment or supplies would have to be made during an investigation as there was not enough room in the old unit to carry many supplies. Now a generator and other larger equipment can be on hand when needed.
Having a location where multiple people can share a meal out of the weather may seem simple, but is important in these long, stressful situations. In the past, a canopy tent would often have to serve this and other purposes. The trailer is also used to meet with other people involved with a case such as the County Attorney, Detectives, and Officers.
The front half of the trailer is set up to become a negotiation station. Detectives also found during the latest investigation that it also works well as a space to interview witnesses.
Officer Massie said while the trailer has already proved its worth, they have a ways to go before they feel the trailer will be fully built out. Someday they would like to replace the temporary wooden shelving and storage bench with a longer term, metal storage system that could hold more and be fully secure. For now though, they are just thrilled to be out of the confines of the recycled ambulance that was used in the past.