Other ‘Tenderloin’ wants cameras 

Residents and business owners along the intersection of 16th and Mission streets have a nickname for the crime-laden area — the "Tenderloin" of the Mission.

With 383 crimes recorded in 2006 by the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, the Mission’s most notorious corner surpassed the Tenderloin’s Jones and Ellis intersection by 150 incidents.

Despite complaints by civil liberties groups, three safety cameras have been proposed for installation on Mission and 16th streets to help police track crime — but some say they are simply not coming fast enough for the area that has ranked highest in crime compared with all other proposed camera locations.

"We’ve been asking for [the cameras] for over a year," Mission Merchants President Jean Feilmoser said, adding that she personally approached Mayor Gavin Newsom begging for intervention for what she calls the Mission’s "Tenderloin."

The Mission Merchants Association will hold a meeting today, a day before the Police Commission votes on the 33 proposed cameras at eight high-crime areas. Crime at Mission and 16th streets in 2006 was significantly higher than other proposed camera locations — for example, the two locations in the Tenderlion at Turk and Taylor streets and Jones and Ellis streets tallied 307 and 233, respectively, of "reported incidents of criminal activity," according to the Mayor’s Office.

In the last two weeks, there have been 43 more crimes committed at both the intersection and within a block of it, according to police reports.

Most notably, on Jan. 7, 25-year-old Timothy Scott was fatally shot in the chest as he sat in a parked car just before 17th Street. The other offenses, which are listed on SFPD’s CrimeMaps Web site, range from narcotics offenses to assault.

Michael Nulty, president of the Alliance for a Better District Six, said the convenience of the intersection’s BART and Muni transportation hub might also be part of the problem.

"We are in support of any and all tools to help the problem, whether it be foot patrols, community policing, whatever," Nulty said, saying something needs to be done, cameras or no cameras.

BART police, who monitor crimes committed at the corner’s station, reported 19 crimes from Oct. 1 until the end of the year — most of them drug- and theft-related.

Walgreens’ Carlos Lopez said he’s seen some horrific sights in the store he manages on the corner of the intersection.

"I’ve had people run in here that have been stabbed or chased, begging me to call for help, not to mention the grandmothers that get their purses stolen every day," said Lopez, who felt the cameras might be a well-placed deterrent to prevent the crimes.

John Avalos of Supervisor Chris Daly’s office, which manages Alliance for a Better District Six, said the intersection is perfect for The City’s most desperate individuals to congregate.

"Our belief is that this is one of The City’s poorest sections, and that crime is symptomatic of the inequities inherent to the city of San Francisco. The cameras will be an effort and attempt to provide a sense of security and get at the root of the crimes," Avalos said.

The intersection of 16th and Mission streets, referred to by locals as the Mission’s "Tenderloin," has been a hotbed of criminal activity.

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