LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — You see it roll in neighborhoods when there is a crisis — a mobile operations unit for the Lansing Police Department’s Special Tactics and Rescue Team, or START Team.

The team’s mission is to save the lives of people who are caught up in the most dangerous situations Lansing has to offer, and START has been answering that call for the past 50 years.

START Team’s mobile command bus offers a gathering space for all the decision makers called in to manage high risk incidents like shootings or barricaded gunmen, as well as natural disasters.

The team’s tactical truck provides officers with all the gear they need at a moment’s notice.

“So we can put up maps, plot our officers’ locations, bring up intel, feed in live body camera and on that TV just to give the best decisions we can make,” said Lansing Police Sgt. Kevin Schlagel, Commander of the START Team.

The Lansing Police Department’s mobile headquarters is unique to the local region. It’s a stand-alone operations center that has space for command staff, as well as Ingham County dispatchers to work together directly from the scene in real time — providing instant access to information and intelligence.

“Our dispatchers are paying attention to the radios, our intel analysts are doing what they do and then we are feeding all that information to our team members to get the best information on how we are going to resolve these things,” Schlagel said.

Schlagel says a mobile command vehicle promotes cohesiveness during times of high stress.

WLNS Anchor Sheri Jones tries on some of the gear worn by LPD’s START Team.

“One of the biggest things that we have is that misconception that SWAT immediately shows up, starts moving towards houses or just starts clearing house. When really our job is to slow things down; get the best information possible, so we can come up with a plan to slow things down, eliminate force as much as possible and try and get them to ultimately to surrender,” Schlagel said.

LPD’s START Team has mutual aid agreements throughout mid-Michigan, offering extra resources when multiple agencies are called to respond.

Earlier this year, the START Team jumped into action to assist local law enforcement with the mass shooting at Michigan State University.

Oftentimes, when officers get called to a scene, they leave from home on a moment’s notice — knowing their tactical vehicle with 90% of their gear is ready for them, so they can respond immediately.

After training every day and every incident, each officer makes sure their gear is put away exactly where it’s supposed to be, so the next time they get the call they’re ready for action.

“As soon as they get dressed in their uniform and get their ballistic gear on, they typically grab their firearms, and then body cameras get those attached and activate ’em when needed,” Schlagel said.