Abstract: This study evaluates the effectiveness of the City of San Francisco’s Community Safety Camera (CSC) program. Chapter 1 describes the origins of the CSC program and the City of San Francisco’s primary and secondary policy objectives for it, as expressed in the statements, technical choices, policies, and practices made by the Mayor’s Office, the City’s Board of Supervisors, the Police Commission, the San Francisco Police Department, and other entities and individuals that have played key roles in shaping the program as it exists today. Chapter 2 provides an empirical analysis of the CSC program’s effectiveness in deterring crime, particularly violent crime. Chapter 3 analyzes the effectiveness of the CSC program as a investigatory and evidentiary tool, and considers the program’s effectiveness in supporting the secondary objectives of facilitating community participation, oversight and accountability, and the protection of privacy and related interests. Chapter 4 considers the managerial and technical aspects of the system that span all objectives, based on our findings. Chapter 5 provides guidance and recommendations to the City for the CSC program based on its current objectives, and offers preliminary thoughts on possible alternatives the City may consider for the program.
This report was sponsored by Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society at UC Berkeley.