Dallas police will get a boost this weekend while watching the crowds celebrating St. Patrick's Day along Greenville Avenue.
TerraHawk, a Dallas company, is loaning its Mobile Utility Surveillance Tower to the department. The mobile tower can be quickly moved to wherever its needed. It extends 25 feet from the back of a van and includes two special video cameras, one of them infrared, giving police a unique perceptive on any crowd.
"It allows one officer in an elevated position to be actually able to visualize what's going on in the crowd and respond and command his troops accordingly," said TerraHawk's Marty James.
The MUST starts at $119,900. TerraHawk said it's selling the first one to an unnamed police department in Virginia and hopes Dallas police are so impressed by it that DPD will find the money to buy one.
"We're trying to let them do some testing with the product in actual, real-life situations to give them a grasp of the capabilities this piece of equipment offers," James said.
Neighbors living along Greenville Avenue said they are grateful for the extra help.
"You pop this thing up, no one has any doubt they're being watched, which is always a good thing," said Mark Rieves, of the Vickery Place Neighborhood Association. "So someone who might be thinking about doing something they probably shouldn't, they're going to think twice."