Wednesday, February 16, 2011

106th Cop Returns to Work After Shock by Stephen Geffon - Queens Chronicle

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A 106th Precinct police officer who received an electric shock that knocked him to the ground and sent him to the hospital is now back on his feet.

The officer, who police declined to identify, returned to work last week, theysaid.

When the officer opened the door to the Sky Watch tower at Liberty Avenue and 133rd Street at 3:40 p.m. on Jan. 27, he received a jolt of electricity that caused him to fall, police said. An NYPD spokesperson said the officer was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where doctors determined he had fractured his left shoulder.

Sky Watch towers are elevated observation booths police use across the city.

A Con Edison spokesperson said the company could not determine what caused the electrical surge. Company technicians checked the Sky Watch tower’s electrical system after the Jan. 27 incident and found it to be working properly with no stray voltage, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson noted the company ordered the power disconnected as a precautionary measure.

When a Chronicle reporter checked for the tower at Liberty Avenue location last Friday, he found it was no longer there. The NYPD said it was put out of service.

The tower was part of a crime deterrent program initiated by the NYPD in mid-2007, police officials said.

Police said officers in the observation booth atop the two-story towers have a line of vision that gives them the ability to continually monitor conditions in a large area. Atop the booths are digital cameras that record images 24 hours a day, even when the perch is not manned.

The towers, which cost $90,000 each, are also equipped with high-powered spotlights that can illuminate the area when needed.