Local
9:31 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Buffalo security plans for large public gatherings

The search for a bombing suspect in Boston shows the important role video surveillance plays in law enforcement. With the outdoor event season just around the corner, the City of Buffalo is planning how to handle security for large public gatherings this summer.

The Buffalo Police Department now operates 200 surveillance cameras throughout the city and Mayor Byron Brown says more are on the way.

"And as you can see, in a situation like occurred in Boston, the availability of a camera system and the ability to be able to pull up video is critically important in being able to deter or solve crime," said Mayor Brown.

The public will also see the Police Department's new mobile surveillance tower Skywatch at all events for the first time this season

"Skywatch gives us the ability to have a incredible perspective of an event, to see over the crowd, to have video surveillance of crowds and what's going on," said Mayor Brown.

As in years past, Mayor Brown says extra personnel will be on duty and security plans will be updated for every annual event like the Allentown Art Festival and the Taste of Buffalo.

"We have people that go out look at conditions make sure that there's nothing strange that's occurring along the route or location of an event," noted Brown.

Brown says citizen volunteer groups like the Peace Makers are also used at events to provide additional eyes for police. He encourages the public to help by reporting any unusual activity.