NY Post Article About Flatbush Shomrim’s $250,000 New Mobile Command Center


fssp.jpgWhat’s stronger than Samson, as big as Mount Sinai and 100 percent kosher?

It’s the massive, new $250,000 mobile security command center that an Orthodox Jewish civilian neighborhood patrol in Brooklyn has gotten to add some righteous power to its watchdog group.

“It’s fully equipped for us to respond to any type of disaster,” said Chaim Deutsch, 40, founder of the Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol, a civilian crime-fighting group.

The 40-member Shomrim patrol’s newest road warrior is a 2008 Ford, custom-built in Ohio and outfitted to survive Armageddon.

Similar to official NYPD command centers, the Shomrim tank has everything from computers and a color copier to a powerful toilet incinerator that can turn solid waste to ash.

“You could pretty much live in it,” Deutsch said.

At 22 feet long, it also has a conference room, a fax machine, a flat panel television and a state-of-the-art communications system.

There’s a portable defibrillator for medical emergencies, and a kitchen with running water and a coffee maker.

It’s cutting-edge, right down to a generator powerful enough to run a family home.

About the only drawback is the gas mileage — only six mpg.

The $250,000 price tag was paid with hefty grants from the City Council and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, said Deutsch.

It’s used for everything from finding missing children and aiding elderly residents to crime prevention, and it’s on standby around the clock. The command center was recently rolled out and parked on a residential street in Midwood to help combat a spate of house break-ins and harassment of local youths.

Shomrim, which means “watchers” in Hebrew, was first established about 25 years ago in Williamsburg, at a time when there was a high crime rate and a need to protect the close-knit Brooklyn Hasidic community.

The group grew and spawned three offshoot groups, patrolling Flatbush, Crown Heights and Borough Park. However, the Flatbush Shomrim is the only one with a state-of-the-art command center, Deutsch said.

“We serve as the eyes and ears of the Police Department,” he explained. “We’re not cops, we’re not police. We are here and ready to do anything else up to the point of going into a dangerous situation. We leave that to law enforcement.”

(LINK to NY Post)


  1. Why does the guy look uh.. no so “l’shem shomayim”?
    And someone tell me where in the world did a quarter mil come from?
    I know of several yeshivos that are on the verge on shutting down, due to the lack of funds, wouldn’t the 250k be better assigned to the definite spiritual needs of the community rather than the possible physical?

  2. chasidyingerman,

    To discover “where in the world” the funds “came from”, read the article. Then, feel free to ask these same sources for funds for Yeshivos, if you wish. You never know…

  3. If the cost is borne by the government, fine, But if the cost is borne by the frum community, might it be better if the money were used to support Torah education or the poor within our community?

    Is there a situation where such a command center would really be needed? For a disaster to be that big, it would mean the government has stopped to function, or is antagonistic, and then it wouldn’t be big enough. For anything else, it just duplicates what the government is doing.

  4. apukerma,

    Not quite. The most common use will probably be missing person searches, where the government will never put in as many resources as the local community. There will be other situations where a mobile office (and that’s what it really is for the most part) will be needed for civic community functions that don’t involve the government, or are done in conjunction with the government.

  5. I just want to know if I can cook a good cholent in it.

    And akuperma, you are displaying your ignorance of Shomrim and the frum community. Shomrim in Flatbush work hand and hand with the police. As far as the police are concerned, they are the proverbial “eyes in back of the head”. They are able to spot and pinpoint crime because of their knowledge of the communities they live in.

  6. “If the cost is borne by the government, fine” ?
    its only “fine” if there is a real need for such a vehicle. But who is determining the need, and what are their credentials.

  7. Great News for a Great Organization. Chaim Deutsch works for the Klal 24/7. A true Askan who doesnt say No to anyone in need. Keep up the great work !

  8. chasidyingerman

    If you can judge a person by the way he looks then I guess it’s fair to judge you as a ball lashon horah. This “guy” who you speak about has helped plenty of children at risk.

  9. chasidyingerman

    Spend some time with Chaim Deutsch and you will understand why looks can be deceiving. His work is done “behind the scenes”, not in front of the world.