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San Francisco Police Propose Database To Track Club Patrons

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) - The San Francisco Police Department wants nightclubs that serve more than 100 patrons to install high-tech ID scanners and cameras in order to log who comes and goes from their establishments into a database.

The police recommendation to the Entertainment Commission that large clubs collect the name, date of birth and other information comes as the city grapples with a rash of night club shootings this year.

KCBS' Tim Ryan Reports:

"It's really a shame that it has come to this, that when you go out to have fun one of the first things you have to do is surrender a basic civil liberty. What's next?" said Commissioner Jim Meeko.

What might seem like a Big Brother strategy to curb violence makes sense when you consider who that information would be used to contain, said Britt Hahn, whose several clubs include Rouge near Russian Hill and Club NV in the South of Market area.

"We're worried about the guy who's had too much to drink and his dog died and he turns around to tell you he's going to kill you, or he attacks another patron," Hahn said.

The data would be stored for just 15 days under the police proposal.

There have been five shootings at clubs in different parts of the city this year. Police said the gunmen responsible for the murder of a German tourist this summer had tried unsuccessfully to get into a teenage dance party.

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