ADID and APF Fund New SkyWatch Tower

November 2,2011

The Atlanta Police Department will soon have a bird’s-eye view throughout Downtown and at major events thanks to a generous donation of a SkyWatch mobile observation tower from the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District and the Atlanta Police Foundation.

The SkyWatch system will increase security, deter crime and provide police with information that will enable them to make real-time decisions and shift resources as merited by events and incidents. The tower will be linked into the APD’s Video Integration Center, allowing officers to remotely view cameras.

“The purchase of the SkyWatch system truly embodies the spirit of our mission statement to reduce crime and improve the quality of life in partnership with our communities,” said Atlanta Police Chief George Turner. “The business community has stepped up to the plate to help us increase our eyes and ears on the ground – and literally, in the air – with this state-of-the-art technology. We’re fortunate to have this kind of support from the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District and the Atlanta Police Foundation.”

The observation tower will be used largely to support major special events in Downtown Atlanta, but will also be deployed on an as-needed basis to conduct targeted crime suppression throughout the city’s central business district.

“The SkyWatch system will be a great asset to the APD in its continued efforts to keep Downtown a safe and vibrant destination for visitors, workers and residents alike,” said A.J. Robinson, President of Central Atlanta Progress and Atlanta Downtown Improvement District. “Other users of SkyWatch around the nation have reported high satisfaction with the system, and believe it has been an effective, proactive tool in deterring crime. We’re pleased to provide this equipment to the department.”

The SkyWatch system will complement officers on the ground, increasing their field of view and monitoring capabilities.

“SkyWatch will enhance Operation Shield, our network that utilizes technology and private security forces to act as a ‘force multiplier’ for the Atlanta Police,” said Dave Wilkinson, President and CEO of the Atlanta Police Foundation. “By providing live feeds into the Video Integration Center, officers will be able to respond quickly to evolving incidents and keep a watchful eye on our citizens.”

Chief Turner, Mr. Robinson and Mr. Wilkinson will discuss SkyWatch at a press conference on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. inside of Centennial Olympic Park on Andrew Young International Boulevard, near the fountains. The SkyWatch observation tower will also be on site.