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Chicagoans Will Be Able To Get Reimbursed For Buying Security Cameras, Lights And More Under New Program

Residents would have to register their cameras with the Police Department to get reimbursed. More details on the program are coming.

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CHICAGO — People who want to get security cameras for their homes or businesses could soon get financial help from the city.

The city is launching the Home and Business Protection Rebate Program, which will provide reimbursements — to an extent — to people who buy security cameras and a year of video storage, as well as outdoor lighting and vehicle GPS trackers, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Monday.

Residents would have to register their cameras with the Police Department to get reimbursed, according to the city. The Sun-Times reports that homeowners can be reimbursed “up to $225 per camera for a total of $450.”

Lightfoot announced the initiative as part of a larger plan to combat gun violence, which has remained high during the pandemic. She said the city’s also raising $1 million to hold its largest-ever gun buyback events.

“Video evidence helps identify suspects,” Supt. David Brown said at a news conference. “And video evidence helps determine charges. … When residents share video, it helps solve our cases quickly.”

Residents will be able to get the rebates through two paths:

  • Home and Business Protection Rebate Program: People who live in the city or who have a business in the city can buy equipment — including cameras, lights and car GPS trackers — and then receive a reimbursement.
  • Block Club Expansion: Block club leaders can request resources from the city to support or develop their block clubs.

The Police Department would not have access to the cameras, would not be able to access the video footage without the resident’s consent and residents would not be required to provide video footage to the Police Department, according to the city.

Residents who register their camera would effectively only be sharing where their camera is located so police officers could contact them to ask for consent to review footage if needed, Brown said.

The city will announce more information about the effort after it selects a third-party group to administer the program.

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