Above: SFPD Sergeant Ron Reynolds of the SF Taxi Detail discusses the high failure rate of taxi security cameras.
A long discussion ensued.
- Is it SFPD’s fault? Sgt. Reynolds claims it’s not SFPD’s responsibility to do “technical advising” on behalf of the cab companies.
- Is it the Taxi Commissions fault? They have no real operation responsibility, they can only advise and regulate.
- Is it the cab companies fault? They are satisfying the regulations set forth by the Taxi Commission to install cameras from an approved list.
Everyone passes the hot potato.
Some people wonder what good can come by integrating the Taxi Commission with the MTA under Prop A. This is EXACTLY the sort of process that could be improved by moving taxi regulation and oversight under MTA.
Let’s see… what other entity in the City is responsible for equipping a fleet of transit vehicles with mobile security cameras? Um, maybe Muni? MTA’s Municipal Railroad ALREADY does this job! Why not roll this complex task into the appropriate MTA department that already handles these duties with Muni?
One thing is for sure — it’s not being handled properly by the Taxi Commission, SFPD or the taxi companies. This is a complex task which requires coordination between all involved. Duties include:
- RFPing prospective vendors of camera equipment,
- choosing a single standardized system that complies with privacy regulations such that only SFPD has access,
- ensuring installation and maintenance compliance by cab companies,
- ensuring these things actually WORK,
- assisting with technical support for getting video from the cameras in case of a crime.
Mayor, SFPD, taxi companies, and Taxi Commission, let’s see real progress by having MTA roll these duties in with their acquisition of the Taxi Commission. MTA, don’t f*** it up like you so often do.