As violent crimes, including armed robberies, fatal shootings, CTA attacks and carjackings, continue in Chicago neighborhoods, the city has launched a new program to help residents feel more safe at home – and to be reimbursed for any costs that may arise.
Chicago residents can now seek reimbursement from the city for up to $1,020 for newly purchased home security devices, including security cameras, outdoor lighting, vehicle GPS tracking and more. Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office announced Monday.
The rebates are part of a $5.3 million initiative called the Home and Business Protection Program, a program announced Monday by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and city partners, intended to help residents protect their property and feel more secure.
“We’ve engaged with partners across the city and heard that residents, business owners and community leaders want these resources,” said Tamara Mahal, Chief Community Safety Coordinator.
“They want to help communities by increasing lighting and solving crimes. We listen to the community and work to reduce barriers and equip Chicagoans with the tools they need to protect their property and feel safe.”
The payback program comes as city leaders try to tackle reckless violent crime across the city. Last Monday, Chicago police said they were looking for a machete-wielding man who robbed at least six people in separate incidents on the Northwest Side.
And last week, more than 50 people were shot – 9 of them fatally – over Memorial Day weekend.
In addition to the reimbursement program, Chicago police said they have canceled officers’ days off and increased patrols on some blocks, and the city has implemented a new 10 p.m. curfew on weekdays for young people, 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, which means activating resources across a range of programs, policy changes and activities,” Mayor Lightfoot said.
Here’s what you need to know about the latest effort to reimburse residents for the purchase of security devices.
Will the city pay for me to install a security system in my home? How it works?
According to a press release from the mayor’s office, residents can apply to be reimbursed by the city for the purchase and installation of specific private security items.
Who can be reimbursed?
All Chicago residents, businesses, religious institutions, and nonprofit organizations are eligible for the program.
However, for residents to receive a refund, the following conditions must be met:
- Applicant must own or lease property used as a principal residence, business, religious institution, or non-profit organization in the City of Chicago OR own or lease a vehicle registered to a principal address in the City of Chicago
- Applicant must provide documentation that verifies proof of purchase
- The applicant must provide photo documentation that verifies the installation
Can tenants be reimbursed?
Tenants can request the refund as long as they have the landlord’s consent.
What types of security devices can I be reimbursed for?
Security cameras, subscriptions for cloud-based video storage systems, outdoor lights, GPS vehicle tracking devices, and GPS tracking apps.
How much money can I recover?
Residents can be reimbursed up to $1,020. Here is the breakdown:
- Up to $225 per camera (camera cost and taxes only) for up to 2 cameras, for a total refund of $450
- One year subscription fee for cloud-based video storage systems for up to $150 per annual subscription
- Up to $100 per light (cost of light and taxes only) for up to 2 lights, or a total refund of $200
- Up to $50 per vehicle GPS tracking device (paid device and taxes only) for up to 2 devices, or a total refund of $100
- One year subscription fee for GPS tracking apps required for use by vehicle GPS tracking device manufacturer up to $120
How long does it take to be reimbursed?
Those who submit a claim will be reimbursed within 90 days of their claim being approved, the city said.
How to apply?
The program is first served and completely voluntary. You can start the application process here.
What if I have already installed security devices? Can I still be reimbursed?
However, only security devices purchased on or after June 6 will be eligible, and installation costs are also not eligible, the guidelines say.
Will the City have access to my cameras? What else should I know?
There will also be an option to register these cameras with the Chicago Police Department.
The city stressed that taping the cameras does not mean Chicago police will have direct access to the system. CPD will always need the consent of the owner to access the images.
“By registering, residents simply authorize CPD to request crime camera footage,” the city said. “Residents reserve the right to refuse access to camera footage at any time.”
In addition to the program, Chicago is also partnering with community organizations to distribute private safety equipment in “15 communities considered priorities based on historical trends in violence.” These include:
- Gresham Auburn
- chicago lawn
- East Garfield Park
- Grand Grand Crossing
- Humboldt Park
- New city
- North Lawndale
- South Lawndale
- South Shore
- West England Wood
- West Garfield Park
- Pullman West
For more information about the program, visit Chicago.gov/HBPP.