The Chicago Transit Agency is engaged in a very ambitious plan to upgrade cameras on a system which already boasts tens of thousands of cameras system-wide. If that sounds impressive---it is. And if this story sounds familiar.... well, that's true too.
"Over the last couple of years we've dumped a lot of technology into cpd to keep this city safe," Chicago police Supt. Eddie Johnson told reporters Monday.
That technology is remarkable.
Cameras blanket the CTA system.
So much so that the city can boast of the camera related arrests of some 1,300 individuals on the CTA over the last six years.
And more are on the way.
"In total we're going to have 4800 cameras that will go high definition, 1,000 new and 3,800 that will be replaced from the old system," Johnson said.
If that sounds like a number you've heard before:
Last February the CTA's Safe and Secure program was rolled out: just shy of 5,000, about 4,800 cameras.
When NBC 5 asked the mayor's office about the repetition, they said it was just their effort to note progress on the cameras' roll out.
They even noted that there was another news conference about the cameras earlier this summer.
Now the entire system all the way down that platform will have about every 15 to 20 feet, an additional camera.
The deployment of the cameras comes not only during a mayoral election year, but also during increased conversation about violence in Chicago
Where even the president's lawyer took a twitter potshot, accusing the mayor of "fiddling while Chicago burns."
So, is this politics... or good government?
There is no disputing the cameras are a welcome addition for the riding public.
"They will make me feel safer," one commuter told NBC 5.
And as Mayor Rahm Emanuel observes, security is something about which just about everyone agrees.
"People have to know when they're taking the train, especially with their iPhone and other material, that they're safe and secure," Emanuel said.
The program is set up through a rather novel funding scheme using fees imposed on rideshare companies in Chicago.
That fund now backs over $30 million in CTA improvements.