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Metro Debuts 'Eye In The Sky' Tower, Mobile App To Boost Passenger Security

LONG BEACH ( — Metro officials Thursday unveiled new technology they say is designed to improve passenger and employee security.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is joining Metro officials to announce three major safety technologies, including new towers to monitor parking lots, security kiosks, and a smart phone app that lets deputies watch security video in real time.

Paid for with a California Transit Security Grant of over $479,000 , the towable SkyWatch Tower is an "eye in the sky" tower that can be raised 24 feet high to monitor parking lots and will provide real-time video surveillance at the Willow, Aviation, Culver City and Heritage Square stations, according to officials.

The plan also includes the installation of security kiosks at nine locations to help Sheriff's deputies and other security personnel access enforcement tools, such as closed circuit television (CCTV) displays, landline telephones, two-way radios and computer workstations, officials said.

The kiosks - which will be installed at the Willow, Crenshaw, Aviation, La Cienega, North Hollywood, Expo Power Sub Station, Wilshire/Western, 7th/Flower and Hollywood/Highland stations - were provided through a $5.1 million California Transit Security Grant.

Metro is also rolling out the LexRay mobile app to help combat what the agency says are four high-level crimes - which includes includes everything from cell phone thefts to robberies and assaults - on its buses and trains for every one-million boardings.

"The deputies or the first responders like the paramedics will be able to look into that bus and see what they're going to encounter before they get there," Metro spokesman Paul Gonzalez told KNX 1070's Jon Baird.

Some passengers are welcoming the new technology.

"I'm glad they finally have live access to feeds on the camera as they go along," one Metro rider said.

A news conference for the technology's official launch was scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Metro Willow Street Station in Long Beach.

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