After SF voters allowed cops to put more surveillance cameras all over the streets of San Francisco, the SFPD has decided where they will place the first two of them: 24th and Mission streets, and 19th and Mission streets.

This past March, San Francisco voters approved a measure to expand police powers, including bolstering the use of surveillance and security cameras. With the right to that surveillance camera use now cemented in place, SFPD held a public meeting Wednesday night to discuss where they would place the first of these cameras. How much public interest was there in this topic? Other than the police officers speaking on the topic, Mission Local reports the meeting was attended by all of two people, one of whom was that publication’s reporter Eleni Balakrishnan.

Regardless, that poorly attended meeting featured the announcement that the first two security cameras would be placed at 24th and Mission streets, and 19th and Mission streets. Those two particular locations were chosen because they’ve had an exceptional number of crimes in the last six months; 61 crimes at 24th and Mission street, and 49 crimes at 19th and Mission street.

Image: Joe Kukura

But you may have noticed there are already security cameras on the street posts at those two locations. (We see them above at 24th and Mission, Mission Local documents that they are also at 19th and Mission streets). But those cameras are owned by and under the jurisdiction of the SF Department of Emergency Management (DEM). The newer cameras, or the same retained cameras, will now be technically owned by the SFPD. They will not be monitored in real time, SFPD Chief Scott said at Wednesday’s meeting, but their footage would be accessed through the DEM for, in Scott’s words, the “investigation of specific crimes, active operations, and crimes in progress.”

Mission Local notes there are already warning signs up at those corners warning people that surveillance cameras may be on the way.  

Curiously, San Francisco’s 2019 facial recognition ban will not apply to these cameras. SFPD claims the cameras’ footage will only be retained for 30 days, and SFPD will be required to report to the SF Board of Supervisors every year on how they’re using the footage.

Related: March Ballot Measure Proposes Giving SF Cops Drones, More Surveillance Tools [SFNews]

Images: Joe Kukura, SFNews