Lori Lightfoot

Chicago Launches Program That Will Reimburse Residents for Security Camera Purchases

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Chicago has officially launched a security camera rebate program that will reimburse residents for their security camera purchases. NBC 5’s Alex Maragos reports.

Chicago has officially launched a security camera rebate program that will reimburse residents for their security camera purchases.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Monday that the Home and Business Protection Program will now allow "anyone who lives in the city of Chicago, operates a business in the city, or owns or leases a vehicle registered to a primary address within the city limits... to receive reimbursement from the City to cover the costs of private security devices to protect their property and feel safe."

"We've been on the ground working to end violence for decades, and funnel as many resources as we can into addressing the causes and effects of violence,"
Lightfoot said during a press conference. "Today, we are proud to add to the pool of resources with the official launch of the Home and Business Protection Program."

The program, which is first-come, first-served, is entirely voluntary, and is meant to increase community safety in neighborhoods.

Beginning Monday, the city will provide "select rebates" that will cover costs associated with outdoor security camera systems, cloud storage for video footage, outdoor motion-sensor lighting, vehicle GPS trackers, and subscription costs.

All Chicago residents, businesses, religious institutions, and nonprofit organizations are eligible for the program and renters can also apply once they have received consent from property owners. 

Eligible costs covered under the program include:

  • Up to $225 per camera (cost of camera and tax only) for a maximum of 2 cameras, or a total $450 reimbursement 
  • One year of subscription costs for cloud-based video storage systems for a maximum of $150 per annual subscription 
  • Up to $100 per light (cost of light and tax only) for a maximum of 2 lights, or a total $200 reimbursement 
  • Up to $50 per vehicle GPS tracking device (cost device and tax only) for a maximum of 2 devices, or a total $100 reimbursement 
  • One year of subscription costs for GPS tracking applications as required for use by the vehicle GPS tracking device manufacturer up to $120 

For residents to be eligible, the following requirements must be met:

  • The applicant must be an owner or tenant of a property used as a primary residence, business, religious institution, or nonprofit organizations within the City of Chicago OR own or lease a vehicle registered to a primary address within the City of Chicago. 
  • The applicant must provide documentation that verifies proof of purchase. 
  • The applicant must provide photo documentation that verifies installation. 

Those who submit an application will be reimbursed within 90 days after their application is approved, the city said.

There will also be an option to register these cameras with the Chicago Police Department.

The city emphasized that registering cameras does not mean Chicago police will have direct access to the system. CPD will still need the owner's consent to access the footage.

"By registering, residents simply allow CPD to request camera footage in the event of a crime," the city stated. "Residents reserve the right to refuse access to camera footage at all times."

Only security devices purchased on or after June 6 will qualify, however, and installation costs are also not eligible, the guidelines state.

In addition to the program, Chicago is also partnering with community organizations to give out private security equipment in "15 communities that are considered priority based on historical trends of violence." Those include:

  • 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 Garfield Park 
  • West Pullman

For more information on the program, visit Chicago.gov/HBPP.