Dec 12, 2012 Comments Off on Surveillance Nation: Jersey City Unveils 3-Story High ‘Eye In The Sky’ Tower To Watch Citizens Pat Dollard
JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A warning to criminals in Jersey City: Every step you take, every move you make, police are watching.
As part of a stepped-up effort to deter and detect criminal activity, Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy and Police Chief Tom Comey announced new initiatives Tuesday that they hope will be effective.
Among the initiatives is the “Eye in the Sky,” a three-story high, mobile tower equipped with 360-degree views and streaming surveillance cameras to give police a bird’s-eye view of high-crime areas.
“It makes us smarter. It makes us better and once again, it’s another step we have to take as we embrace technology and do policing,” Comey told reporters, including 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg.
With budget cuts and mass retirements in his police force, Chief Comey is still dealing with a significant police shortage. So he said he is looking for ways to do the job smarter and better.
“Is it the most effective way? At what we have right now. Yes,” he said. “Would it be better if we had more man power? Probably. That’s not something I have right now.”
The $100,000 “Eye in the Sky” was acquired by Jersey City’s Office of Emergency Management & Homeland Security through the state’s Urban Area Security Initiative program.
Officials said the technology is used by police departments across the country, including the New York Police Department.
Mayor Healy also announced the hiring of 22 new beat cops to help beef up the department’s dwindling ranks.
In July, the U.S. Justice Department awarded Jersey City $1.85 million through a hiring program that allowed it to bring on 15 new officers. The other seven cops will be paid through the municipal budget, officials said.
The police department will now have a total of 806 officers.