Through the SF SafeCity Camera Program, we address public safety needs and help reduce crime through collaboration. The SF SafeCity Camera Program is an important, innovative tool, and a component of a broader public safety strategy. Priority camera locations are guided by equity, serving those communities most in need first, as well as crime hotspot data, informed by publicly generated police incident reports made by residents. The SF SafeCity Camera Program also adheres to strict policies and procedures with privacy protocols in place, no live monitoring of the system, and footage requests only granted to law enforcement entities via verifiable public police incident reports. 

When considering a new camera program and the funding source/s have been confirmed, SAFE conducts a thoughtful, community focused review of a given area, partnering with stakeholders, such as merchant associations, business owners, and residents from San Francisco’s high trafficked neighborhoods and commercial corridors, as well as various public safety officials from City government. SAFE assesses needs, develops a comprehensive public safety plan with community consensus for a given area, and then identifies optimal camera locations, including private property owners as hosts for installation of cameras, all through a meaningful, community-led and community-driven process. 

Through this program, SF SAFE targets high-risk and high-traffic city blocks comprising about 20 – 30 businesses for the installation of high definition security cameras and associated surveillance technology. Typically, a coverage area of about 18 – 24 camera views per corridor is provided. Camera installation projects for commercial corridors take about 12 weeks from start to finish and encompass outreach, assessment, mapping, and system installation. SAFE works with technology vendors as the technology solutions and data privacy providers underpinning the program, accountable to the most stringent, self-imposed policy standards. 

In addition to the security cameras acting as a visible crime deterrent, the footage provides an extraordinary tool in assisting businesses, community members, and public safety officials in the investigation of criminal activity if and when an incident occurs. This program seeks to level the playing field, strengthen the evidence chain, and not only hold bad actors accountable, but also exonerate those wrongfully accused of a crime before enduring lengthy, unjust detention. 

As an alternative policing tool, SF SafeCity Cameras empower diverse residents to take ownership over their public safety needs, and advocate for more resources in their community. Please email sfsafecitycameraprogram@sfsafe.org to learn more about the SF SafeCity Camera Program powered by SF SAFE Inc., a 501(c)3 dedicated to engage, educate, and empower San Franciscans to build safer neighborhoods through crime prevention, education, and public safety services that result in stronger, more vibrant and resilient communities.