The SDPD enforcement hardware getting the most attention this Fourth of July weekend is the mobile observation tower on the sand in Pacific Beach.
"It looks like one of the robot crawlers in Star Wars," said Nate Sheridan from La Mesa, who, along with many others, stopped to stare up at the mechanical watchdog.
The tower rises three stories above the sand with the aid of hydraulic lifts. Behind darkly tinted windows, officers make use of cameras that can zoom in on an object almost a mile away. And when it gets dark, floodlights and night-vision technology help keep an eye on you.