CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago residents and businesses can now be reimbursed for surveillance equipment purchases, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday.
Chicago's new program offers cash for cameras and, crucially, increased city access to home or business security cameras for investigators trying to solve crimes.
Surveillance videos, home security cameras and, increasingly, crystal clear Ring doorbell footage, are often their best hope at tracing criminals.
But that kind of high-tech security is costly.
So, the city is now offering to help pick up the tab. The $5.3 million program first announced in April offers home or business owners:
Only security devices purchased on or after June 6 qualify for reimbursement. Applicants who complete their application will be reimbursed within 90 days after approval. Installation costs of cameras, lighting, and GPS tracking devices are not eligible for reimbursement.
In order to get the reimbursement, people must register the devices with the city's record. It does not give detectives or any city official the ability to access camera footage. For that, owners must still give consent.
Applicants who are interested in aiding the Chicago Police Department during criminal investigations have the option to register their camera system at chicagopolice.org/cameraregistration.
"Working with our communities across Chicago is the only way we can strengthen public safety," said CPD Community Policing Director Glen Brooks. "By registering your camera with CPD, it will help detectives solve crimes more efficiently and take violent offenders off the street quicker."
To be eligible for any qualifying rebates, the following requirements must be met:
The program is first-come, first-serve, and open to residents and business owners throughout Chicago. Lightfoot said the city will partner with community-based organizations to distribute private security equipment in the 15 communities that are considered priority based on historical trends of violence:
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