Skywatch is new tool in BPD’s arsenal


OCCASIONALLY…BUT DON’T HAPPEN VERY OFTEN. LUKE MORETTI, NEWS 4. IT’S THE NIGHT BEFORE THANKSGIVING, TRADITIONALLY THE BIGGEST PARTY NIGHT OF THE YEAR… AND BUFFALO POLICE HAVE INTRODUCED NEW EYES IN THE SKY TO WATCH OVER THE REVELERS IN THE CHIPPEWA ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT. NEWS 4’S LOU RAGUSE IS LIVE WITH OUR STORY, NEW AT SIX. IS THIS CHIPPEWA STREET OR TIMES SQUARE? BUFFALO POLICE HAVE A NEW TOOL USED IN NEW YORK CITY AND ON BOURBON STREET IN NEW ORLEANS TO HELP CONTROL POTENTIALLY UNRULY CROWDS. IT’S CALLED SKYWATCH. THE NIGHT BEFORE THANKSGIVING IS THE BUSIEST PARTY NIGHT ON BUFFALO’S ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT AND WITH DRINKING INVOLVED, POLICE KEEP BUSY. IF YOU VISIT CHIPPEWA STREET YOU CAN’T HELP BUT NOTICE POLICE’S NEWEST CRIME FIGHTING TOOL… HOVERING ABOVE THE STREET. ((WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THEY HAVE A SAFE AND FUN EXPERIENCE IN OUR CITY.)) IT’S CALLED SKYWATCH AND IT ALLOWS OFFICERS TO SEE HUNDREDS OF YARDS DOWN THE STREET. ((SKYWATCH GIVES POLICE A 360 DEGREE VIEW OF THE AREA AROUND THEM. AND WITH THESE HIGH DEFINITION CAMERAS THEY CAN ZOOM IN ON A CRIME THEY SEE HAPPENING, AND RADIO OFFICERS ON THE GROUND TO GO RESPOND.)) MAYOR BYRON BROWN SAYS THEY’VE RECEIVED A LOT OF REQUESTS FOR MORE CAMERAS IN THE CITY TO DETER AND HELP SOLVE CRIME. ((WE HAVE NOT HAD COMPLAINTS AND CONCERNS ABOUT BIG BROTHER.)) ((WHAT IS PRIVATE ABOUT THINGS YOU DO PUBLICLY? SO YOU THINK THIS IS A GOOD THING? NOT ONLY IS IT A GOOD THING, BUT IT IS LONG OVERDUE.)) SKYWATCH WILL BE USED MAINLY TO PREVENT AND STOP CRIMES SUCH AS DISORDERLY CONDUCT. THEY MAKE ABOUT 10 ARRESTS FOR THAT CHARGE EVERY YEAR THE NIGHT BEFORE THANKSGIVING. AND OTHER AGENCIES AS WELL WILL HAVE AN INCREASED PRESENCE TO TRY AND PREVENT DRUNK DRIVING. ((WHAT WE WANT IS PEOPLE TO ENJOY THAT PART OF THE EXPERIENCE, BUT IF DRINKING IS GOING ON, WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO PLAN AHEAD AND MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A SAFE RIDE HOME TONIGHT.)) BPD PAID FOR SKYWATCH WITH MONEY FROM HOMELAND SECURITY. ANOTHER NEAT FACT ABOUT IT, OFFICERS INSIDE BUFFALO POLICE HEADQUARTERS CAN CONTROL IT REMOTELY IF THEY WANT. BUT BPD PLANS ON HAVING TWO OFFICERS IN IT AT ALL TIMES. ANOTHER THING TO NOTE, CHIPPEWA STREET FROM ELMWOOD TO DELAWARE WILL BE SHUT DOWN TO VEHICLE TRAFFIC UNTIL

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