Dolores Park has long served as our adult playground for whimsical world record attempts, gigantic unlicensed events and of course leaving behind fantastical volumes of our trash, but the park's ugly underbelly often shows itself, too. In just the last eight weeks, we’ve seen three people shot there in August, a gang mugging later that month, and the park’s western footbridge long being described as a magnet for hard drug sales, all trouble that has persisted for years. Some of that trouble may be deterred in the near future, though, as Mission Local reports that Dolores Park is getting security cameras, “likely within the next month” according to the blog.
Nice timing on your moving on from Dolores Park, Truffle Man. (Although as of now we don't know how quickly he'll actually be moving on.)
“Rec and Park[s] is expected to announce soon it will install security cameras in the park. Most likely this month,” according to an announcement from park advocacy nonprofit Dolores Park Works. “Following on Rec and Park’s posting of two full-time Park Rangers in July the department has definitely stepped up. I know there is a lot more to do and we all have more concerns and ideas for improving Dolores, but these were two big asks and long standing needs and I think a big win for us park advocates.”
Dolores Park Works goes on to note that in addition to the cameras and two Rec and Parks foot rangers, SFPD has altered their patrol schedule to pop into the park more frequently. These sounds like nice additions and are surely effective, but did not prevent a gang attack by 12 assailants in the park last week during mid-day afternoon hours.
It is entirely fair for a skeptic to wonder if these security cameras won’t just be decoys and fakes, meant to deter crime instead of capturing it on video. In July of last year, we came to discover that the security cameras on BART were decoys, as were many across Oakland. But whether the cameras are real or fake, this is still a pretty encouraging sign of “trickle-up” activism showing that neighborhood advocates can wrangle City Hall and the police department into implementing additional safety measures if they clamor at it long enough.