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Some people leaving Pacific Beach bars and restaurants on Saturday night may have noticed someone watching over them.

Video:

SDPD observation van

For the past two weekends, a mobile observation tower that rises two stories above the ground has been parked just west of Mission Boulevard on Grand Avenue by the San Diego Police Department.

Similar to the mechanical watchdog first seen on the beach four years ago, this darkly tinted tower uses hydraulics to raise it, giving the officer inside a better view of the activities below. The most noticeable improvement to this model is its increased mobility: it is built into a standard cargo van and emerges from the roof.

“Is that for the police?” a girl questioned as she left a nearby bar with friends. Another in her group looked up at the tower and said “It could be a bar promotion.”

Both the van and the tower are white in color and neither has any markings identifying them with law enforcement. Blinking lights on the tower blended in well with those from the nearby bars. As the night progressed, however, the presence of both SDPD vehicles and officers confirmed the source and purpose of the tower.

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Comments

jnojr Sept. 22, 2014 @ 3:24 p.m.

Police states do not appear overnight... one day everything is normal, the next jack-booted stormtroopers are kicking in the doors of "unreliables". It always starts in the name of "safety". It always starts with well-meaning people who really believe that giving government just a little more power is no big deal, don't pay attention to what happened everywhere else, it can't happen here! Stuff like this happened in Germany in 1934, and a lot of good and decent people cheered.

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

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AlexClarke Sept. 23, 2014 @ 5:53 a.m.

People are too stupid to learn anything from history. We deserve the government we elect. We learned nothing from WWII or Viet Nam or from any other run amok venture. We have open borders and welcome immigrants from the very countries that hate us and hate freedom and hate other religions. There is nothing on earth as stupid as an American. God I am ashamed.

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LJC Dec. 27, 2014 @ 7:53 p.m.

The purpose should be obvious... A safer environment. I think it's a good idea.

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