Chicago home and small business owners concerned about violent crime will soon be eligible for “rebates up to certain limits” to cover the cost of security cameras, outdoor motion sensor lighting, outdoor storage cloud and vehicle GPS trackers.
For the fourth time in five days, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is giving a multi-million dollar gift to the people of Chicago ahead of a mayoral election in less than a year.
Last week it was 50,000 gas cards worth $150 each, 100,000 loaded Ventra cards worth $50 each and 5,000 free bikes, helmets, locks and lights for Chicagoans willing to try a alternative mode of transport.
This week’s $5.3 million giveaway offers “discounts up to certain limits that cover the cost of outdoor security cameras and one year of cloud storage for video footage.” The unspecified discounts will also cover outdoor motion sensor lighting and vehicle GPS trackers.
Homeowners will be able to receive “up to $225 per camera for a total of $450” in home security expenses.
“That means if you want to buy a $50 camera, you can buy more than one. We know of many associations and other places that have multiple entrances,” said Tamara Mahal, coordination manager of the city’s community safety coordination center.
“You will also be eligible for certain subscription fees for the first year of cloud-based subscription. … For lighting, you will be entitled to up to $100 per lamp. vehicles, you’ll be entitled to up to $50 per device and up to one year of subscription fees.
Although the city has budgeted “about $5.3 million through 2024” for the entire reimbursement program, according to Hall, she did not disclose where the money came from.
All funded camera systems will be registered with the Chicago Police Department to serve as a force multiplier in crime-ridden neighborhoods and help provide inundated CPD officers with the video evidence they need to solve violent crimes. .
Lightfoot also urged Chicago landlords and small business owners to register their existing cameras with the Chicago Police Department.
The shed program — and a million-dollar fundraiser for what Lightfoot billed as the largest gun shed program in Chicago history — follows suggestions made during a series of public meetings on public safety.
“If you’ve been wanting to get a camera for your home, for your business, but haven’t taken the plunge or been barred from the money, now is the time to act.” And if you’re like me – not very comfortable with the tools, but want to take advantage of it – we can help you with that too. Don’t let the facility be “a roadblock,” Lightfoot said during a press conference at the Chicago Tabernacle, 3231 N. Cicero Ave.
She added, “This technology will create a visible deterrent to crime and provide tremendous access and assistance to CPD investigations, no doubt bolstering their efforts to hold criminals accountable and solve crimes much faster.”
Lightfoot stressed that the program is voluntary, but added, “If you sign up and get the discount, we want you to register your camera with CPD.”
“This streak is really important. So many crimes have been solved in the past year just because we were able to access residential video or video with landlord consent. This will only speed up this process. We already have a network of registrations. Detectives will know exactly where to go,” she said.
DPC Superintendent David Brown urged all Chicago residents and business owners to register their existing camera systems.
“Video is a crucial and critical part of solving all crimes, but especially homicides and shootings,” Brown said, citing two recent examples of burglaries and carjackings solved by previously recorded cameras.
Brown assured that participating home and business owners, CPD, will not have direct access to the recorded camera systems.
The police department also cannot access the camera footage without the consent of the home or business owner. There is also no requirement for participating home and business owners to provide images to the CPD, even after a crime.
“Your permission is still required to share these images,” Brown said.
“The camera system is your property and you have the right to refuse any request. Your information will not be shared with anyone. And you can also request that your information be deleted at any time.
Lightfoot said she was “uncomfortable with the idea that we’re just going to operate these cameras automatically, even though the technology would allow” CPD to do just that.
“We need to earn the trust and faith of our residents and not have a Big Brother-style camera system,” she said.
Council members who have yet to approve the mayor’s gift parade were suspicious of the mayor’s motives.
“There is a pattern here. It’s Christmas in April,’ Ald town center said. Brian Hopkins (2nd), who is considering a mayoral campaign against Lightfoot.
“These generous giveaways using taxpayers’ money are an obvious attempt to buy favorable support. … We are entering campaign season. It changes everything. She’s a politically unpopular mayor. It’s a fact. Whether she can get the backing of the city council for what could be an obvious political ploy remains to be seen.
Aldus. Roderick Sawyer (6th), another potential candidate for mayor, discovered the latest freebie after a briefing on the gas card and Ventra card freebies.
During at least one of the briefings, suspicious aldermen have demanded to know whether the personalized maps for the town – or the brochure sent with the maps – will contain Lightfoot’s name or a personalized message from the mayor.
If they do, there could be significant opposition from city council, sources said.
“We just give everything. I just don’t think that’s the right way to govern – to give things away. I have a real problem with that,” Sawyer said.
“We have to make life better for everyone. Don’t just give out trinkets and make people feel better. It’s not a real relief. It is a temporary solution. It’s a bandage.
Mayoral candidate Paul Vallas called Monday’s handing over of security cameras the latest “political act of desperation” by a mayor destined to serve just one term.
Instead of giving things away, Vallas urged Lightfoot to provide across-the-board relief by rolling back the automatic indexation that ties annual property tax increases to the rate of inflation.
“She has absolutely no answer to the public safety challenges facing the city, so she resorts to these gadgets. This is a questionable use of stimulus money and again a disrespect to the city council. Doing things unilaterally without even consulting the city council,” Vallas said.
“When she’s not manipulating or distorting [crime] data, it resorts to…meaningless things that are more pragmatic than substantial like the distribution of these cameras. This is clearly a political act of desperation and further proof that they have absolutely no idea what they are doing.