by David Koon
Couldn't help but notice the new Little Rock Police Department skylift parked in front of the Statehouse Convention Center today. We're in the process of getting a bit more info on it from the department, but for now we're going to go with: they loved the high-tech treehouse they borrowed from the Bryant PD during Riverfest so much that they had to have their own.
Other than cosmetics and a few cameras on top, the LRPD lift looks to be the same model as the one Bryant has, which extends to allow officers a 360 degree view from 25 feet up during crowd-control situations. Bryant's lift is a military surplus unit.
UPDATE: LRPD spokesperson Sgt. Cassandra Davis says the department acquired two of the lifts in the past two weeks from a military surplus depot in Savannah, Ga., at a cost of $600 each. The lifts have "minimal hours," Davis said, and required only tires, painting and decals. They're each valued at $90,000.
Davis said the lifts will be deployed at "major crowd events" like Riverfest and the Arkansas State Fair, and can either be used manned or unmanned, thanks to an cab-mounted camera system with tilt and zoom functions that can be operated by officers on the ground.