As violent crime including armed robberies, fatal shootings, CTA attacks and carjackings continue across Chicago neighborhoods, the city has launched a new program meant to help residents feel safer in their own homes — and get reimbursed for costs that may come along with that.
Chicago residents can now apply to get reimbursed up to $1,020 by the city for newly purchased home security devices, including security cameras, outdoor lighting, vehicle GPS tracking and more, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office announced on Monday.
The rebates are part of $5.3 million initiative called the Home and Business Protection Program, a program Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and city partners announced Monday meant to help residents protect their property and feel safer.
“We’ve been engaging with partners across the city and heard that residents, business owners, and community leaders want these resources,” said Tamara Mahal, Chief Coordination Officer for Community Safety.
“They want to help communities by increasing lighting and solving crimes. We’re listening to community and working to reduce barriers and equip Chicagoans with the tools they need to protect their property and feel safe.”
The reimbursement program comes as city leaders attempt to combat a rash violent crime across the city. Just Monday, Chicago police said they were searching for a man armed with machete who robbed at least six people in separate incidents on the Northwest Side.
And last week, more than 50 people were shot — 9 fatally — over the course of Memorial Day weekend.
In addition to the rebate program, Chicago police say they have canceled officer days off and increased patrols on some blocks, and the city has implemented a new 10 p.m. weeknight curfews for youths, as well as a rule against unaccompanied minors in Millennium Park after 6 p.m.
“We are taking a public health approach to community safety, and that means activating resources across a range of programs, policy changes, and activities,” said Mayor Lightfoot.
Here’s what you need to know about the newest effort that reimburses residents for purchasing security devices.
Will The City Pay For Me to Install a Security System At My Home? How Does it Work?
According to a press release from the mayor’s office, residents can apply to get reimbursed from the city for purchasing and installing specific private security items.
Who is Eligible to Get Reimbursed?
All Chicago residents, businesses, religious institutions, and nonprofit organizations are eligible for the program.
However, for residents to receive reimbursement, 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
Can Renters Get Reimbursed?
Tenants may apply for the rebate as along as they have consent from the property owner.
What Kinds of Security Devices Can I Get Reimbursed For?
Security cameras, subscriptions for cloud-based video storage systems, outdoor lights, GPS vehicle tracking devices and GPS tracking applications.
How Much Money Could I Get Back?
Residents can get reimbursed up to $1,020. Here’s the breakdown:
- 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
How Long Does it Take to Get Reimbursed?
Those who submit an application will be reimbursed within 90 days after their application is approved, the city said.
How Do I Apply?
The program is first-served and is entirely voluntary. You can start the application process here.
What if I Already Have Security Devices Installed? Can I Still Get Reimbursed?
Only security devices purchased on or after June 6 will qualify, however, and installation costs are also not eligible, the guidelines state.
Will the City Have Access to my Cameras? What Else Do I Need to Know?
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.”
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
- Chicago Lawn
- East Garfield Park
- Greater Grand Crossing
- Humboldt Park
- New City
- North Lawndale
- South Lawndale
- South Shore
- West Englewood
- West Garfield Park
- West Pullman
For more information on the program, visit Chicago.gov/HBPP.