San Francisco Mayor London Breed signed legislation on Thursday, January 12, 2024, to permit the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) to begin installing 400 Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) across the city to disrupt retail theft, car break-ins, sideshows, and other criminal activity. The bill authorizes 400 readers to be installed at 100 intersections, and the funding for the readers comes from the state’s Organized Retail Theft Grant Program, which provided the city with $17.3 million.
According to a statement from Breed’s office, the ALPRs have assisted in making progress on public safety. Between November 20, 2023, and January 1, 2024, compared to the same period the year before, San Francisco saw a 48 percent reduction in larceny-theft (including retail theft and auto break-ins), a 17 percent reduction in motor vehicle theft, and a 26 percent reduction in burglaries, according to the mayor’s office.
Late last year, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a plan from the mayor expediting the installation of the ALPRs. The bill also directs the mayor’s staff and city departments to cut through red tape, including working directly with the SFPD to expedite the installation process.
San Francisco Chief of Police Bill Scott spoke on the new legislation, saying, “Installing a network of Automated License Plate Readers across the city will greatly assist our hard-working officers to identify vehicles used in crimes and to apprehend offenders. These cameras will be a force multiplier, helping our hard-working officers to identify vehicles used in crimes and to apprehend offenders. I want to thank Mayor London Breed for her work to streamline and expedite this process, so we can begin using this technology immediately”.
Mayor Breed said, “We are making progress disrupting crimes and we are sending a message that San Francisco is not tolerating criminal activity of any kind. While we are continuing to build back our police force, it’s the smart thing to do to incorporate technology that supports the hard work our officers do. These license plate readers can play a critical role in disrupting retail theft, car break-ins, sideshows, and other criminal activity”.