Gascon wants to put crime cameras to use

September 28, 2009 4:17:08 PM PDT
San Francisco's new police chief wants the city to start taking advantage of its crime camera program.

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San Francisco has 71 closed-circuit cameras throughout the city, but nobody monitors them because of big-brother concerns.

Chief George Gascon says they should be used; otherwise the system is a waste of money.

Meantime, the ACLU Monday blasted Sacramento's plan to accept a $600 million federal grant to install 32 new surveillance cameras.

The group says the cameras are not worth the money, citing London's $800 million system.

"There's over 1 million cameras, 1,000 crimes a year are solved by the cameras, do the math; we feel that rather than surveillance cameras, which are not effective, feet on the ground is the most important thing," ACLU spokesperson Jim Updegraff said.

Congressman Dan Lungren (R-California) says the cameras work and denies they are an invasion of privacy because they capture images anyone in public can see.

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