Friday, May 25, 2012

New for Riverfest: Big Sister is watching

Posted By on Fri, May 25, 2012 at 10:06 AM

ON LOAN: A hydraulic skylift is on loan from Bryant to Little Rock for Riverfest.
  • Brian Chilson
  • ON LOAN: A hydraulic skylift is on loan from Bryant to Little Rock for Riverfest.

One new thing to see at Riverfest this year will actually be looking back at you: a 25-foot high hydraulic skylift where LRPD observers can keep a bird's-eye view on the crowd. The skylift, which an officer on duty nearby said is a piece of surplus military equipment, is on loan from the City of Bryant. It will be set up later today in the middle of Markham Street in front of the Chamber of Commerce building. Officers inside the five-by-five foot cab of the lift will have a 360 degree view of the crowd, and will be in radio contact with police below.

DeAnna Korte, executive director of Riverfest, said the lift will help keep the area near the Riverfest main gate trouble free, adding that she wanted to give "huge kudos" to the LRPD for bringing it in. "When you have 250,000 people and they're all face to face, you may not be able to see who is 20 feet away," she said. "This is going to give the police the ability, at our main gateway, to be able to see up over the crowd and see what's going on. We're really excited they're doing it."

Why does the city of Bryant need an eye in the sky. I'd ask Mayor Jill "Republican" Dabbs or Clerk Heather "Republican" Kizer or the male Kizer in the Bryant hierarchy, Police Chief Mark Kizer. But I have a hard time reaching them.

Maybe they got it to deploy to the "elegant dinner and program" next week at Bryant's Bishop Park for a $125 Republican fund-raiser. The cops might need an eye in the sky to make sure the Dabbs posse doesn't break the no-alcohol rule again.

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