In Case SFPD Doesn’t Ask for Crash Footage, New Website Can Help Find It

Image: CommunityCam

A new online platform called CommunityCam provides a crowdsourced map of surveillance cameras on the streets that could help investigators and the public find video footage that may prove useful after a traffic crash.

As we saw last week, San Franciscans can’t rely on the SFPD to do their jobs when a pedestrian or bicyclist is injured by a driver, including taking a quick survey of nearby buildings for surveillance cameras that could provide key evidence in determining the cause of the crash. Instead, SFPD too often blames the victim by default.

CommunityCam currently lists the locations of more than 1,000 “outdoor, public-facing security cameras,” said Ellen Arndt, communications manager for, which hosts the map. “If a cyclist is hit and the driver fails to stop, he or she can look at CommunityCam’s map to determine if a nearby camera may have caught the incident on video.”

Sadly, it has indeed come to the point where the public may have to do investigative work on traffic crashes for the SFPD. At least now, it’s easier to find these cameras.

  • Anonymous

    Why stop at crashes? Now we can use this brilliant service to digitally stalk people, or trace the movements of persons we consider “suspicious” or “out of place” in our “communities” (the word once meant a collection of people, now it refers to interconnected tracking devices)…

    Thank you Big Brother!

  • mikesonn

    -typed from an iPhone

  • Anonymous

    I thought the police already had a database like this

  • Anonymous

    I thought the police already had a database like this

  • Anonymous

    Eloquently put!

  • Once you allow any cameras in public places at all, you’re already on the Slippery Slope.

  • Nathanael

    As long as there are cameras, I much prefer it if EVERYONE has access to them. If only the corrupt, dirty cops have access, it’s very dangerous.

  • Edward Leiske

    I got smashed into by an 80 year old Chinese man who was stopped in traffic and decided to change lanes without looking. Well, seemingly like an open and shut case I didn’t flag anyone down to get a witness and this idiot lied and said he was in my lane and that I was in the bike lane trying to squeeze in even tho the damage doesn’t fit his story…AAA his insurance adjuster denied my claim and found me at fault even though a witness finally came forward after posting flyers in the area. They tried to say it was too late because a month had passed! Amazingly, they still haven’t fixed my car so now I’m in desperate need of some camera footage to prove what lane I was in and what lane he was in just before the accident. Possibly a traffic camera! Any suggestions?


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