Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Chicago Police Supt. David Brown and several other community leaders on Monday announced a new program that provides Chicago residents and businesses financial reimbursement for security cameras.
However, there's a catch: In order to be reimbursed, residents and businesses must register new security cameras with the Chicago Police Department.
The program is entirely voluntary, and is meant to increase community safety in neighborhoods.
"The responsibility of community safety simply cannot fall on CPD alone," Lightfoot said at a press conference.
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"When something happens, detectives do a community canvass and literally go door to door to find witnesses. But increasingly, videotape evidence is crucial in our crime flight. So by having existing businesses and residents registering their cameras, you are literally becoming our eyes and ears."
According to Lightfoot and Brown, "registration does not mean that the Chicago Police Department will be able to routinely access camera footage without your prior consent."
"Registering cameras will simply streamline that process by giving detectives early information about where they can look for possible videotape evidence. This technology will provide tremendous access in assistance to CPDs investigations, undoubtedly boosting their efforts to hold criminals accountable, unsolved crimes much more quickly."
According to city officials, the program is voluntary.
A press release from the city states that registering a private security camera does not give the department access to your camera system, nor does it allow for the department to access footage without your consent.
The release also states that "there is no requirement to provide footage to CPD at any time."
You can also request that the information for your system be removed at any time.
Financial rebates or reimbursement up to a certain limit will only be eligible to businesses or individuals who purchase and register new, private security equipment, including outdoor security cameras, doorbell cameras, outdoor motion sensor lights and vehicle GPS trackers.
While not eligible for reimbursement, residents or businesses who already have private security cameras can still register with the police department by providing the location of the camera and other contact information.
"We are doing everything that we can every single day to make sure we're focused on bringing safety to all of our city," Lightfoot said.