Leaders concerned about effectiveness of Chicago Park District's security camera program, BGA finds

Only 16 city parks have security cameras, report says

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team via WLS logo
Saturday, June 25, 2022
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Chicago Park District advisors and city council members are concerned about security camera effectiveness, the Better Government Association found.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- In April, a Better Government Association investigation of the Chicago Park District's distribution of security cameras in Chicago's vast system of neighborhood parks revealed a tiny camera program with little money and riddled with inequity and neglect.

"We found there are only security cameras in 16 parks in the city of 600 owned and operated by the park district which is less than 3% of the city's parks," said Sidnee King with the BGA. "And many times those security cameras are in parks that had negligible amounts of crime reported in the last year."

The BGA later found the Chicago Park District advisory staff and members of the Chicago City Council have raised concerns about the effectiveness of those cameras.

Locals leaders have said they are not sure that the cameras are of sufficient quality or that the Chicago Police Department has access to the footage.

This all started after a shooting in the parking lot of Lincoln Park High School. The BGA said an alderperson reached out to the Chicago Park District asking how they could access footage from nearby cameras, but was unable to get answers.

Read the Better Government Association's full initial investigation here.