BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - The Buffalo Police Department has a new tool to keep an eye on large crowd gatherings in the city.
The department unveiled a 25-foot-tall, retractable observation deck in the city's popular Chippewa Street entertainment district on Wednesday evening, typically the busiest bar-hopping nights of the year.
Police officials tell The Buffalo News that the city bought the $200,000, mobile apparatus with a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Dubbed Skywatch, the new equipment has high-powered cameras that police can use to monitor crowds for any criminal activity, even if it's hundreds of yards away.
Mayor Byron Brown says Skywatch is an extension of the police surveillance camera system that has been used in the city for years.