Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown, and several other community leaders announced a new program on Monday that provides Chicago residents and businesses with financial reimbursement for security cameras.
However, there’s a catch: To get reimbursed, residents and businesses must register new security cameras with the Chicago Police Department.
The program is completely voluntary and aims to increase community safety in neighborhoods.
“Responsibility for community safety simply cannot rest solely with the DPC,” Lightfoot said at a press conference.
“When something happens, detectives do a community investigation and literally go door to door to find witnesses. But increasingly, videotaped evidence is crucial in our escape from crime. So asking businesses and existing residents to record their cameras, you literally become our eyes and ears.”
According to Lightfoot and Brown, “recording does not mean that the Chicago Police Department will be able to routinely access camera footage without your prior consent.”
“Camera recording will simply streamline this process by giving detectives early information on where they can look for possible videotaped evidence. no doubt their efforts to hold criminals accountable for unsolved crimes much faster.”
According to city officials, the program is voluntary.
A city press release says private security camera recording does not give the department access to your camera system, or the department access to footage without your consent.
The statement also states that “it is not necessary to provide images to the CPD at any time”.
You can also request that your system information be deleted at any time.
Financial rebates or refunds up to a certain limit will only be eligible for companies or individuals who purchase and register new private security equipment, including outdoor security cameras, doorbell cameras, outdoor lights at motion detector and GPS trackers for vehicles.
Although not eligible for reimbursement, residents or businesses that already own private security cameras can still register with the police department by providing the location of the camera and other contact information.
“We’re doing everything we can every day to make sure we’re focused on safety across our city,” Lightfoot said.