nobody’s watching

The lights are on, but nobody’s home. This article today’s Chronicle comments here

The 178 video cameras that keep watch on San Francisco public housing developments have never helped police officers arrest a homicide suspect even though about a quarter of the city’s homicides occur on or near public housing property, city officials say.

Nobody monitors the cameras, and the videos are seen only if police specifically request it from San Francisco Housing Authority officials. The cameras have occasionally managed to miss crimes happening in front of them because they were trained in another direction, and footage is particularly grainy at night when most crime occurs, according to police and city officials.

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, chairman of the committee, called the hearing after learning from frustrated residents of public housing developments in the Western Addition that crimes occurring in front of cameras weren’t leading to arrests.

Mirkarimi has been a vocal critic of the Housing Authority and said the ineffective cameras are an example of the agency falling down on the job. He said he will call a hearing soon about the possibility of the city taking over the federal authority, an idea that has been raised and rejected in the past.

one thing about the article. As far as the grainy images at night, you’d be surprised how far technology as gotten. Cameras can be found on Ebay now down to .1 lux (less than candle light) and they’re not that expensive compared to what they’re using now. where the hell are they getting these cams from? Sounds like another one of those wasteful contracts with expensive equipment that barely works

It’s not just the Housing Authority, it’s the non profits too, which get funding from many of the same sources. It’s almost an identical situation where ‘nobody’s watching’. Up until now, I have been able to prove incompetence on the part of Tenderloin Housing Clinic regarding their own security cameras, because I know nobody’s watching them, and everybody else here knows nobody is watching them. The only time I ever did see people watching was two guys on the late night staff who are consistently glued to the monitors. Ask them about it, and they say ‘there’s some nasty shit going on up upstairs’

Other than that, those cameras might as well be dummies. THC couldn’t even find clips even when the police came in. At least once, they had to come to me. And when it became too embarrassing and THC was no longer able to hide their incompetence, they just ordered me to take it down

little old me, with a 50 dollar cheapo webcam, was far more effective than a publicly financed 4,000 dollar security system. That has to be embarrassing for Randy Shaw. ouch

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