The city launches a new rebates program to help cover the costs of security cameras in homes and businesses | Chicago news

(WTTW News)

In an effort to reduce violence and promote community safety, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city will soon begin covering some of the costs of outdoor security cameras for businesses and homeowners across Chicago.

Lightfoot and other city officials on Monday announced a series of new initiatives to improve public safety, including a business and new home protection discount program in which residents can get discounts to defray the cost of security cameras and video storage.

“The ravages of violence affect us all, so it must involve us all, not in a one-size-fits-all style, but a data-driven, location- and neighborhood-specific style,” Lightfoot said during a press conference at the Chicago Tabernacle.

Through the discount program, the city will provide reimbursement to residents and business owners for outdoor security cameras, one year of cloud storage for video clips, lighting for outdoor motion sensors, and vehicle GPS trackers.

The city has set aside more than $5 million for this program through 2024. Residents will be eligible for discounts of up to $225 per camera or $450 per home, plus $100 per light and up to $50 for vehicle tracking devices.

City officials are also requiring those who participate in this program, as well as those who already have security cameras installed in their homes or businesses, to register these cameras with the Chicago Police Department.

Police will not have direct access to anyone’s camera system, nor can they access camera footage without the owner’s consent. According to the city, there is also no requirement to submit any footage to the CPD at any time.

Lightfoot said she doesn’t want a “Big Brother-esque” camera system, but she does want to help police simplify the process for investigators looking for video of specific crimes happening nearby.

“Involvement may be the difference between criminals going out free or being held accountable,” said Police Superintendent David Brown.

Those who wish to register can do so by visiting and providing contact information and camera location and specifications.

According to Lightfoot, block club leaders can also request security resources from the city.

In addition to the camera initiatives, Chicago officials also announced Monday that they are seeking to raise $1 million to fund what they call the largest arms transfer program in Chicago’s history.

The city said it would seek the funds through business and charitable partners who are “committed to improving community safety and helping the city remove deadly firearms from the streets of Chicago.”

The arms handover will include two events this year – one in the summer and one in the fall. Specific information including dates, locations and eligibility criteria has not yet been released and will instead be announced in the coming months.

As of last week, police said they had already pulled more than 2,500 rifles off the street in 2022.

“These initiatives will help residents, give them a measure of security and also help us take ownership of our own version of safety in the city of Chicago,” said Lightfoot.

Contact Matt Masterson: Tweet embed | [email protected] | (773) 509-5431

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