SAN FRANCISCO—On Wednesday, June 12, the Mayor’s Office of San Francisco disclosed that new automated license plate reader cameras being installed across San Francisco are already leading to arrests for crimes that include organized retail theft, carjacking, robbery, and sexual assault.

Property crime is down 33 percent and violent crime is down 13 percent compared to 2023. The San Francisco Police Department and its contracted vendor installed 100 of the 400 planned automated license plate reader (ALPR) cameras. The remaining 300 cameras are on track to be up and fully operational by July. The ALPRs are funded by a $17.3 million grant from the State’s Organized Retail Theft Grant Program.

San Francisco contracted with Flock Safety to install and maintain the 400 cameras. A total of 100 cameras have already been installed, the new ALPR system is delivering results as it pertains to crime in the region:

-Organized Retail Theft: On May 13, a woman on a no-bail warrant for Organized Retail Theft was picked up on an ALPR camera in the Mission District. Officers from Mission Station located the vehicle and arrested both occupants.

-Carjacking: On May 3, a vehicle was identified that involved in a carjacking at SF State. Citywide plainclothes team spotted the vehicle, deployed spike strips and arrested three suspects.

-Robbery: On May 13, a vehicle used in a robbery entered San Francisco from Oakland and was captured on multiple ALPR cameras. Officers located the vehicle in the Bayview and took the driver into custody.

-Sexual Assault: On June 8, San Jose Police contacted law enforcement agencies across the region for assistance locating a sexual assault suspect. The suspect’s vehicle was picked up by ALPR cameras in the Taraval Police District, and officers located the vehicle near Golden Gate Park and took the suspect into custody.

“These cameras have been a massive help to our police department,” said Chief Bill Scott. “I want to thank our officers for their outstanding work. Looking forward, we will be integrating our ALPR network with our other technologies, including technologies voters approved in March under Proposition E, like drones and public safety cameras.”

ALPRs are only one of the new technology tools that the Mayor of San Francsico and the SFPD are working to deploy to advance public safety. As part of the implementation of Prop E, that was approved by voters in March 2024, SFPD is now authorized to use drones and publicly owned public safety cameras in their work. ALPR cameras were already approved for use prior to Prop E, they demonstrate the effectiveness of using technology to support the work of law enforcement.

The new proposed budget from the Mayor that is being reviewed by the SF Board of Supervisors Budget committee for review, includes $3.7 million to implement voter-approved technology. The new funding will allow the SFPD to expand on its plans to install public safety cameras and use of drones. The budget must be finalized, including being signed by the Mayor by August 1.

San Francisco continues to see improved year over year crime numbers in 2024 across both property crime and violent crime. This includes through the end of May compared to the same period in 2023:

-13 percent reduction in violent crime overall
-38 percent reduction in homicides
-18 percent reduction in robberies
-8 percent reduction in assaults
-33 percent reduction in property crime overall
-18 percent reduction in burglaries
-19 percent reduction in motor vehicle thefts
-51 percent reduction in car break-ins