In San Francisco, the Union Square Business Improvement District launched an outdoor security camera program in 2012, starting with six privately-owned cameras, and it has since raised more than $3 million in grant money and outfitted 40 property owners with cameras, extending the network to around 350 cameras that share footage with police, according to SFGate.
Within the program, business owners around Union Square pay for 10 percent of the security camera costs, and the grant money covers the rest. Law enforcement can request footage or images from those cameras from the Union Square group, which works with vendor Applied Video Solutions and decidates staff to manage the camera program and coordinate with the SFPD.
Midway through 2017, the organization had more than 500 police requests for camera footage, resulting in approximately 200 arrests in the Union Square and Tenderloin areas.
The group spans 27 blocks, and it has sub-granted $350,000 to both the Central Market and Tenderloin community benefit organizations to better cover the Tenderloin neighborhood.
The shared footage is designed for aiding police with serious crimes, not “quality of life” issues, says Karin Flood, the executive director of the organization.