SF Touts Success With Public Safety Cams


City officials report that San Francisco’s newly installed automated license plate reader (ALPR) cameras have achieved significant success, leading to multiple arrests for serious crimes including organized retail theft, carjacking, robbery, and sexual assault.

“This new technology is just one of the tools we’re employing to make San Francisco safer for everyone, and it’s already showing results. It demonstrates how technology can support our law enforcement officers and sends a strong message to those intending to commit crimes in our city,” said Mayor London Breed in a statement.

The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD), in collaboration with Flock Safety, has installed 100 ALPR cameras out of a planned 400. The remaining 300 cameras are scheduled to be operational by the end of summer.

Funding for the ALPRs, totaling $17.3 million, was secured through California’s Organized Retail Theft Grant Program.

Despite only a quarter of the cameras being active, city leaders stated that the ALPR system has already proven highly effective.

“These cameras have significantly bolstered our department’s capabilities. Moving forward, we plan to integrate our ALPR network with other approved technologies, including drones and public safety cameras under Proposition E, approved by voters in March 2024,” said Chief Bill Scott.

In addition to aiding in arrests within San Francisco, the cameras have assisted SFPD in tracking down individuals involved in crimes across different jurisdictions.

Furthermore, SFPD plans to deploy drones and other publicly owned safety cameras. Mayor Breed unveiled a proposed budget earmarking $3.7 million to implement these approved technologies, enabling an expansion of surveillance capabilities and enhancing the use of drones in law enforcement operations.