According to a discussion on "The Wall", a place where San Francisco political news is regularly posted, HAIA President Ted Loewenberg made that announcement this month (February) and posted it on the organization's website. The basic message on the page reads as follows:
On Wednesday, 17 February, 2010, HAIA announced the Street Safety Program, designed to help increase the public safety by increasing the presence of security systems cameras at Upper Haight merchant's storefronts. To reduce the cost to our merchants, HAIA will pay each of the first 10 merchants in the Upper Haight who respond, $100 toward the cost of a security camera / Digital Video Recorder (DVR) system. Having as many as 20 surveillance cameras watching day and night in our commercial areas will give the police the ability to catch criminal behavior in the act, and hopefully increase the successful prosecution of the perpetrators.
Whether it is recording graffiti vandals tagging private property or street thugs intimidating residents on the sidewalks, the cameras should act as a deterrent to illicit behaviors. HAIA recognizes both the problems seen on Haight Street recently, and the weakened economy causing local merchants to struggle to make ends meet. The HAIA Board feels this program is a good use of our resources to help in a substantive way. The technology of such DVRs and cameras have become reasonably priced, and can be applied on a large scale to help our community deal with the challenges of crime through deterrence and prosecution.
The discussion on the proposal over at Able Dart's Forum at SFWall.Net is starting to heat up. One question, not answered as of this writing, is who will pay for the smashed cameras?