Calif. PD gets $258K grant for mobile surveillance tower
Anecdotal evidence suggests the tower’s presence does result in a lower incidence of crimes at large public events
By Joe Tash
The San Diego Union-Tribune
ESCONDIDO, Calif. — Escondido police will soon have a powerful new tool to keep watch over large public gatherings, from concerts and festivals to crowded mall parking lots during the holidays.
Thanks to a $258,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, administered by the city of San Diego’s Office of Emergency Services, Escondido will purchase a new SkyWatch mobile observation tower, allowing officers to monitor crowds from a perch more than two stories high.
Anecdotal evidence suggests the tower’s presence does result in a lower incidence of crimes at large public events, from car break-ins to purse snatchings, said Schemer. For example, he said law enforcement officials in the Houston area reported that during a popular rodeo, such crimes dropped from numerous cases to a single incident when a SkyWatch tower was deployed.