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SF's crime cameras: from useless, to eyesores
What deters more crime, one of these signs or our 70 or so crime cameras?

If the Keystone Kops had lived in the electronic era, their slapstick silliness would have included San Francisco's security surveillance cameras.

Yesterday, a Board of Supervisors' committee voted to cut funding for the cameras. If the full Board approves the cut, our reporter Wyatt Buchanan writes today, they'll just shut the things off. Why not take them down? No money.

The debate over these cameras - 70-some in high crime areas - has been a little like the ancient Catskills joke where two old guys are sitting in a restaurant griping about the food. "So terrible," says one. "Yeah," says the other, "and such small portions."

While the ACLU and the Mayor are going at each other about it, the cameras themselves have yet to prove effective. To begin with, the videos are fuzzy and no one's watching them live anyway. Unmonitored surveillance. That's always helpful. And you can't move them around to follow the action.

This blog originally appeared on sfgate.com. To read the rest, click here.