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The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is stepping up its security efforts with three new initiatives to be deployed across the county in the coming weeks.One of these measures includes implementing LexRay Systems, which are designed to enable sheriff's deputies and other law enforcement officials to use their smartphones to access real-time imaging from the agency's system of CCTV cameras, Metro officials said in a press release.This in turn allows first responders to look inside a rail car or bus that is in need of assistance.Additionally, Metro plans to deploy SkyWatch security towers near parking lots and at Metro Rail and Orange Line stations. These observation towers are elevated and movable systems that use real-time and remote video surveillance to enhance remote security presence, according to Metro.Metro received a state grant to purchase four SkyWatch towers, which the agency plans to begin deploying later this month.The agency will also install security kiosks in nine subway plazas at high volume rail stations. This is aimed at enabling sheriff's deputies and other security personnel to access computers and other law enforcement tools where they hadn't been available previously, Metro officials said."Metro has been investigating practical technologies that can help enhance the safety and security of the riding public and our employees," said Metro Chair and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.Metro also intends to further educate riders about security issues, allowing them to be another extension of the agency's "eyes and ears on the system." To that end, the agency offers the "LA Metro Transit Watch" smartphone app, which allows passengers to submit anonymous photos or messages about suspicious incidents, according to the app's website.
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