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Boston bombing prompts new security measures

After a devastating event like the Boston bombings, local law enforcement has been asked to reassess security measures for San Francisco and its hundreds of annual special events.

At the Board of Supervisors Neighborhood Services and Safety Committee meeting Thursday, Police chief Greg Suhr said that live monitoring in The City could be used to patrol large events, such as Bay to Breakers on May 19.

With a number of other events around the corner like Pride Parade and Outside Lands, the surveillance could happen through a network of private and public surveillance.

The new measures include an array of new procedures, from bomb sniffing K-9 units and license plate-recognition technology to FBI agents roaming city streets.

Deputy Police Chief John Loftus said that these new measures have been reviewed to ensure they provide greater safety to the public. Loftus spoke at the Board of Supervisors Neighborhood Services and Safety Committee meeting.

With a number of surveillance cameras already installed in downtown, Suhr said the next step is to map out all the cameras along Market Street and possibly installing more throughout The City, particularly in spots that host large events.

Suhr said that mapping cameras would let police know where to access footage ahead of time and where some places might be missing coverage:

“(Police can) privately or publicly cover up those blind spots so that we would have a continuing operating picture that would be in the best interest of public safety.”

However, not everyone is completely on board.

During Thursday’s hearing Supervisors David Campos and Eric Mar shared reservations about the new measures. The supervisors said that while surveillance did a great service in capturing the Boston bombing suspects, there needs to be a balance between public surveillance and civil liberties.

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