On Tuesday at the Monroe Public Safety Center, Mayor Jamie Mayo and fire chief Jimmie Bryant unveiled the Monroe Emergency Coordination Center, or MECC.
The project is based at the safety center, and will serve as a central point for all city departments to meet and coordinate resources and responses in a more effective and efficient manner during times of major emergency incidents.
A demonstration to the audience revealed the technology used in the MECC, including several screens displaying media and state government outlets, weather radars, GPS, cable television, and maps -- even 'live' video feed connections to outside sources through Skype. The demonstration showed how a person out at a park in Ruston could communicate back to the audience in Monroe using a live feed.
City officials say experts came in to Monroe to conduct a study on what would be needed for the project.
The MECC with be activated by the mayor of Monroe during major man-made or natural incidents affecting the city that does not ride to the level of a disaster declaration by the parish homeland security office.
It will be activated only for emergencies that are specific to the boundaries of Monroe.
Officials say the project took about 60 days to complete, at a cost of $30,000. In comparison, city officials say similar projects in Baton Rouge and New Orleans cost millions.