Tech exec funds San Francisco police recruitment efforts, security cameras amid safety concerns

Community members and city leaders gathered in San Francisco's Sunset District on Thursday to express their concerns to city leaders.

Some residents said they don't feel safe outside their homes.

One man said he's doing what he can to improve public safety.

Chris Larsen, co-founder and executive chairman of Ripple, said he has spent millions of dollars on security cameras that have been installed in various districts.

One of the surveillance cameras captured a man kicking a homeless person in what appears to be an unprovoked attack in the Tenderloin District. Another camera captured a hit-and-run in the Russian Hill neighborhood.

Larsen, a native of San Francisco, paid for the security cameras in hopes of reducing crime around the city.

"It's a great city. We have some issues. They're very fixable issues, "Larsen said the shortage of police officers is one issue he's tackling now.


SFPD searching for leads to catch killer of Cash App's Bob Lee

San Francisco police are looking for evidence and leads to catch the person who stabbed and killed Cash App founder Bob Lee  early Tuesday morning.

Larsen said he has also donated $600,000 to the San Francisco Police Officers Association to help with recruitment. It funds an ad campaign to address what some describe as a staffing crisis.

The police department said it is short 548 officers.

A KTVU crew caught up with Police Chief Bill Scott on Thursday as he headed into a community meeting about public safety.

SEE ALSO: San Francisco cannabis dispensaries concerned about recent break-ins

"We need the assistance. Recruitment is at the top of our priorities right now and assistance is welcomed, "said Scott,"We're thankful he cares enough to do that. And the cameras are golden when it comes to helping us solve crime."

"We must enforce laws, make arrests and prosecute crime," said newly-elected supervisor Joel Engardio who represents the Sunset District.

Public safety is top of mind for many community members who packed into the Sunset Recreation Center meeting to ask questions and find out what city leaders plan to do to prevent crime.

"We don't feel safe. I don't want to go out of my house at nighttime.  I don't feel safe anymore," Louann Bassan said she's been a homeowner in the Sunset for 3 decades.

As for Larsen, he said the network of cameras are installed in Union Square, the Tenderloin and Japantown.

Community groups identify where the cameras should go.

Larsen is open to expanding — adding more in neighborhoods that already have them and installing cameras in districts that request them.

He said they are an investment into his hometown.

"We're long term believers. It's a beautiful city. It's the most innovative city," Larsen said Ripple, the company he co-founded plans to continue to have its headquarters in San Francisco's financial district.

Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on facebook @AmberKTVU,  instagram @AmberKTVU  or twitter @AmberKTVU.