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CPD Strategy to SF?

By Margaret Lyons in News on Sep 24, 2007 9:22PM

2007_09_24_policecam.jpgWill San Fransisco adopt our police surveillance strategies? Not likely, according to this comparison. The biggest difference right now is that SF police are just recording the action; Chicago police are actually moving the cameras, too.

In an emergency operations center one recent Saturday night, a civilian former police officer sat in front of four monitors and 16 larger screens covering a wall, conducting "missions," whirling and zooming cameras in eight neighborhoods that had seen recent spasms of violence.

"Someone has to watch (the footage)," said Garbauski, who runs missions once a week. "If there were no arrests, people would say, 'There's no one watching this. It's just for show.' "

Well? Are they just for show? The CPD says that between February 2006 and September 2007, they've made 1,407 arrests, including at least five homicides. But Jonathan Schachter, a public policy lecturer at Northwestern tells the Chronicle, "'I haven't seen any evidence that cameras are reducing rather than displacing crime.'"

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast.