Launch of a municipal program to pay for security cameras and lighting: here’s how to apply

Two days before launching her re-election bid, Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday announced details of the security gift she dangled before the people of Chicago two months ago.

On April 4, Lightfoot announced that Chicago homeowners and small business owners concerned about violent crime would be eligible for rebates to cover the cost of security cameras, outdoor motion sensor lighting, outdoor storage cloud and GPS trackers to track their vehicles in the event of a car theft or carjacking. It was the fourth time in five days that Lightfoot has given a multimillion-dollar giveaway to Chicagoans ahead of the February 2023 mayoral election.

The mayor waited until this week — when she’s also planning to kick off her second campaign — to launch the $5.4 million security package.

Starting Monday, Chicago landlords, renters and business owners who can prove they have purchased outdoor security cameras, cloud storage for video footage, outdoor motion sensor lighting, GPS trackers and subscription fees will be eligible up to $1,020 to cover these costs.

The program is also open to religious institutions and non-profit organizations. Tenants must first obtain the landlord’s consent.

To apply, go to

In addition to proof of purchase for each security device, applicants must include documentation of the camera system’s ability to retain video footage for at least 72 hours, the city said, and proof that each device has been installed.

“We heard loud and clear from residents that this is something they want. … This is a one-stop-shop for people who want to make sure their homes and belongings are protected,” Lightfoot said during a press conference at Saint Sabina’s Church, 1210 W. 78e Square.

“If you don’t have the upstream resources, don’t worry. We will help you. If you can’t do the installation yourself, don’t worry. We are here to help you. … We want anyone who wants a camera, who wants lighting, who wants a GPS tracker to be able to drive it through our town.

When initially announced in early April, Lightfoot said all subsidized camera systems would be registered with the Chicago Police Department in order to increase coverage in crime-ridden neighborhoods and help police officers awash with Chicago with the video evidence they need to solve violent crimes. .

The mayor and the superintendent of police. David Brown also urged owners and small business owners in Chicago that day to register their existing cameras with the Chicago Police Department.

On Monday, Lightfoot sang a slightly different tune.

“While camera registration with the Chicago Police Department is not required for reimbursement, we strongly encourage people to do so as the footage they capture may be useful in assisting the department with criminal investigations. “, said the mayor.

“The other big factor in having the cameras and the lighting is to deter crime before it even happens. When someone looks at a vulnerable house, they’re not going to pick a house that has cameras, which has lighting and other things the owner does proactively to protect themselves.

Lightfoot noted that Chicago’s more affluent neighborhoods are filled with private security cameras, while communities “with a long history of violent crime” have relatively few.

To level the playing field, the city plans to partner with community organizations to provide safety features in 15 southern and western neighborhoods with “historic patterns of violence.”

These targeted neighborhoods are Auburn Gresham, Austin, Chicago Lawn, East Garfield Park, Englewood, Greater Grand Crossing, Humboldt Park, New City, North Lawndale, Roseland, South Lawndale, South Shore, West Englewood, West Garifeld Park and West Pullman.

What if the demand for safety equipment exceeds the $5.4 million the city has budgeted?

“We start with $5.4 [million]. But if we see significant usage and need to put more resources into it, we certainly will. I will definitely be asking for more resources from the city council,” Lightfoot said.

“It’s a community safety issue that drives the conversations at the kitchen table, the conversations at the breakfast table. People want to feel safe. … We want to make sure we’re listening.

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