SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — After a string of violent crimes led to security cameras being installed at San Francisco’s popular Dolores Park, some residents are saying they aren’t happy with the new surveillance.
Josue Ayala and his friend Ingrid Desantiago often visit the park on weekends.
“The view is great. You can see the whole city. A lot of people come and it just feels very welcoming,” said Ayala.
“On the weekends, it’s packed. It feels like a big party, very community centric,” said Desantiago.
They love the park’s welcoming vibe and say security cameras take away from that.
“My immediate reaction is that’s odd to me. I don’t see the necessity,” said Desantiago.
“I’m not comfortable with the idea,” said Ayala.
The city of San Francisco already spent $250,000 out of the general fund to install the cameras. The majority of the cameras are on the north side of the park, but more are coming.
“We’ve worked closely with Rec and Park on the installation of the cameras, hoping to reduce the number of incidents in the park,” said SFPD spokesperson Robert Rueca.
San Francisco police say in addition to foot patrols in the area, the cameras will make Dolores a safer place.
A triple shooting in broad daylight over the summer is one example of what police want captured on camera. They hope the presence of cameras will discourage crime.
Rueca said even if the shooting wasn’t captured, critical evidence could have been.
“It can capture things that occurred before or afterward and can be a valuable tool in capturing valuable evidence for different incidents,” said Ruece.
Park goer James Collins told KPIX 5 he doesn’t like the invasion of privacy and doesn’t think the cameras will stop criminals.
“I don’t think it does make us that much safer, no,” said Collins. “In the end, that’s why I’m not in favor of it. Because there’s always ways around it for those crazies.”