By a 5-0 vote, the Police Commission last night voted to install twenty five of those anti-crime cameras throughout the Mission, SoMa, and the Tenderloin. As expected, last night's hearing was pretty heated as over 100 people attended. According to reports, the crowd was about 50-50 on what to do.

The pro side argued that anything to help fight crime is a good thing. As for privacy concerns, well, as one woman said "when you're out in the public, there is no expectation of privacy. This is 2007." The con side argued mainly over privacy concerns and the fact that it hasn't been proven the cameras work or not. Also weighing in by statements was Gavin Newsom (for) and Chris Daly (against).

Which brings up an interesting issue in that the SFPD is not sure if the cameras work or not. There's only one person who has been arrested because of what was seen on the cameras but officials say they got evidence for a couple of other cases. They also claimed crime has gone down but there's nothing that really says that. Among the things the commission agreed to do was to do a study to see just how well those things work. That seems sort of like a good idea.

Typical of San Francisco, the installation of the cameras will include such no-nos as going live during protests and sending footage off to INS.

Once again, SFist would like to provide a solution to this debate, one that will make everyone happy-- fake security cameras! This way, everyone thinks they're being watched when in reality, no one is. It'll stop crime and alleviate all those pesky privacy issues.