City of Chicago begins offering rebates for security cameras, other devices purchased to protect property

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday announced the launch of the city’s new the Home and Business Protection Program (HBPP) – in which anyone who lives, runs a business, or owns or leases a car in Chicago can be reimbursed for private security devices to protect their property.

Mayor Lightfoot was joined by city Community Safety Chief Coordination Officer Tamara Mahal, the Rev. Michael Pfleger, and other officials for the announcement at St. Sabina Church in Auburn Gresham.

“We are taking a public health approach to community safety, and that means activating resources across a range of programs, policy changes, and activities,” Mayor Lightfoot said in a news release. “The Home and Business Protection Program serves as our newest resource to support this effort, and it is part of a larger strategy that includes historic investments in affordable housing, mental health, and violence prevention. We encourage all residents to take advantage of this program and join us in our efforts to create safer communities all across our city.” 

The city will provide select rebates to cover the cost of outdoor security camera systems, cloud storage for video footage, outdoor motion-sensor lighting, vehicle GPS trackers, and subscription costs.

The program is open to all Chicago residents, businesses, religious institutions, and nonprofits. Those who rent housing may also apply for the rebate with their landlords’ permission. Condo associations are also eligible.

“We’ve seen this used many times to solve crimes in the past, and we think the more of them that are out here, even better for the future,” said Father Pfleger.

The city says anyone who meets the eligibility criteria may receive reimbursement for: 

  • Up to $225 per camera – for the cost of the camera and tax only. This is for a maximum of two cameras – or a total $450 reimbursement.
  • One year’s worth of subscription costs for cloud-based video storage systems, for a maximum of $150 per annual subscription.
  • Up to $100 per motion sensor light – for the cost of light and tax only. This is for a maximum of two lights, or a total $200 reimbursement.
  • Up to $50 per vehicle GPS tracking device – again for the cost of the device and tax only. This is again for a maximum of two devices, or a total reimbursement of $100.
  • One year of subscription costs for GPS tracking apps as required for use by a vehicle GPS tracking device manufacturer -for up to $120.

Anyone who successfully completes and application will be reimbursed within 90 days of approval.

To qualify, applicants must meet these criteria:

  • The applicant must own or rent a property used as a primary residence or place of business, religious institution, or nonprofit – or own or lease a vehicle registered to a primary address in Chicago.
  • The applicant must provide documentation that verifies proof of purchase of the items for which they are asking for rebates. 
  • The applicant must provide photo documentation that verifies installation of those items.

Meanwhile, anyone who wants to use their cameras to help Chicago Police with investigations may register their camera system at chicagopolice.org/cameraregistration. This is not required to receive the rebate.

For those who do register their cameras, police will not have direct access to their cameras and cannot access their camera footage without consent. Registration just allows police to request camera footage if a crime happens.

The city is also joining with community-based organizations to distribute private security equipment in the 15 city community areas that have the highest levels of violence. Those communities are:

  • 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

Only security devices purchased on or after Monday, June 6, qualify for the reimbursement program. For more, follow this link.

Mayor Lightfoot also joined Chicago Public Schools leaders Monday to honor the 1,000 Safe Passage workers for their hard work keeping other students safe.

“You are the glue that holds our communities together.  I know when Safe Passage started, it was about making sure that we were taking care of kids to and from school – sometimes having to cross over territory that might be dangerous for them – and you do that, every single day,” Mayor Lightfoot said.

Mayor Lightfoot was joined by CPS Chief Executive Officer Pedro Martinez, police Supt. David Brown, CPS Chief Education Officer Bogdana Chkoumbova, and CPS Chief OF Safety and Security Jadine Chou for the event at Chicago State University.

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