If you've driven past the Big Y on West St. in Pittsfield, Massachusetts recently, you may have noticed a new edition.

In the center of the parking lot, there is a new light pole attached to what looks like a rolling compressor covered in solar panels. Sorry, that's the best way I can describe it, but just check the picture below for reference.

The tall post is topped with a blinking blue light, as well as blue lights attached to the lower part of the unit, which is powered by attached solar panels. The equipment is essentially a trailer on wheels, however, it is firmly anchored in the lot.

A night this thing is more than noticeable. I first saw it heading to work in the early morning last week. As I came down the hill, my first reaction to the blue lights in the distance was oh, the police are in the Big Y parking lot. When I got closer I realized that the parking lot was basically empty, void of any people, just the new blinking unit.

During the day the lights are far less noticeable and I thought it could be just a piece of construction equipment, but my initial reaction is closer to the truth.

The new piece of equipment is actually called a "Lot Cop" which is essentially exactly what it sounds like. It’s a relatively newer surveillance system equipped with cameras and flashing blue lights. The idea is to offer an extra set of eyes on the parking lot, in addition to cameras currently in place.



One manufacturer of Lot Cops, Live View Technologies, says the system doesn't need internet, power, or wires. Owners can log in to the device's platform and are able to view live video, retrieve recorded video, set alerts and notifications preferences, and a host of other features.

In 2014 there was a shooting in the parking lot of the Pittsfield Big Y store resulting in the death of 29-year-old Anthony Gamache.


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