Mayor: City needs more security cameras

Mayor Gavin Newsom is expected to announce today that there is now more money available to purchase additional security cameras as The City struggles to curb violent crimes.

Last year, The City installed its first security surveillance cameras and to date has 33 cameras monitoring 14 locations in some of San Francisco’s high-crime neighborhoods.

Another 22 cameras are in the pipeline to be placed in yet-to-be-determined locations.

This year’s budget allocated about $270,000 for these new cameras.

Following a news conference Thursday, Newsom said he would announce today “an augmentation in our budget for more security cameras.”

For some city supervisors, the news was welcomed.

“I would like to see [a camera] in Diamond Heights right now,” Supervisor Bevan Dufty said, adding that residents along Addison Street are asking for the cameras.

“Until such a time when we can make every neighborhood safe, we have to use [cameras],” Dufty said.

Supervisor Jake McGoldrick, who is one of the biggest critics of the cameras, said he was saddened by the news, calling it a “case of mistaken strategy.” McGoldrick said the cameras are ineffective and the money should go instead toward community policing programs. He also said the cameras infringe on civil liberties. McGoldrick had unsuccessfully tried to kill the funding for the 22 additional cameras during a Board of Supervisors budget hearing.

Allen Nance, acting director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, said crime activity exists in certain geographic locations in The City, and if cameras cover all these areas then the criminals “just don’t have anywhere to go.”

Instead, he said, they will either stop the crimes “or move on to someplace else” other than San Francisco.

The Police Commission will ultimately determine the location where the 22 cameras will be installed after holding a public hearing. Newsom is expected to announce today how many more cameras The City will be able to purchase.

Nance said he recommends installing the 22 cameras in a number of existing cameras’ locations because in some cases the existing cameras are not capturing the full view of the area.

Nance emphasized that more time is needed to determine if the cameras are truly effective, but he said early data supports their use. For example, there was a 30 percent decrease in violent crimes at 19th and Mission streets after a camera was installed there, Nance said, comparing crime statistics from 30 days before the camera’s installation with three months afterward. Using the same time frame, Nance said there was a 67 percent decline in violent crimes in the area covered by the camera at Third and Kirkwood streets.

There are 14 other locations under consideration for cameras, including sections of the Tenderloin, the Hallidie and UN plazas as well as at Haight and Webster streets.

Camera locations

Thirty-three security cameras currently monitoring 14 different city locations:

Location Number of cameras

Eddy Street/Buchanan Street 2

Third Street/Kirkwood Street 4

Middlepoint Street/Westpoint Street 2

Turk Street between Scott and Pierce streets 2

Turk Street between Scott and Divisadero streets 2

Pierce Street between Eddy and Turk streets 2

Scott Street between Eddy and Turk streets 2

Scott Street/Eddy Street 1

Pierce Street/Eddy Street 1

Eddy Street between Scott and Pierce streets 2

Eddy Street between Scott and Divisadero streets 2

26th Street/Treat Street 5

Alemany Street/Ellsworth Street 4

19th Street/Mission Street 2

Source: Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice

jsabatini@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsGovernment & PoliticsLocalPolitics

Just Posted

A felled tree in Sydney G. Walton Square blocks part of a lane on Front Street following Sunday’s storm on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
After the rain: What San Francisco learned from a monster storm

Widespread damage underscored The City’s susceptibility to heavy wind and rain

Plan Bay Area 2050 is an expansive plan guiding the region’s growth and development over the next three decades. The regional plan addresses progressive policy priorities like a universal basic income and a region-wide rent cap, alongside massive new spending on affordable housing and transportation infrastructure. (Shutterstock)
$1.4 trillion ‘blueprint’ would address Bay Area’s housing, transit woes

Analyzing the big ticket proposals in ‘Plan Bay Area 2050’

A felled tree in San Francisco is pictured on Fillmore Street following a major storm that produced high winds and heavy rains on Oct. 24, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Philip Ford)
Storm updates: Rainiest October day in San Francisco history

Rainfall exceeded 10 inches in parts of the Bay Area

On Sunday, California bore the brunt of what meteorologists referred to as a bomb cyclone and an atmospheric river, a convergence of storms that brought more than half a foot of rain to parts of the Bay Area, along with high winds, concerns about flash floods and the potential for heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada. Much of the Bay Area was under a flash flood watch on Sunday, with the National Weather Service warning of the potential for mudslides across the region. (NOAA via The New York Times)
Bomb cyclone, atmospheric river combine to pummel California with rain and wind

What you need to know about this historic weather event

The Department of Building Inspection, at 49 South Van Ness Ave., has been mired in scandal since since its creation by voter referendum under Proposition G in 1994. (Courtesy SF.gov)
The Department of Building Inspection, at 49 South Van Ness Ave., has been mired in scandal since its creation by voter referendum under Proposition G in 1994. (Courtesy SF.gov)
Whistleblowing hasn’t worked at the SF Dept. of Building Inspection

DBI inspectors say their boss kept them off connected builders’ projects

Most Read