CHICAGO (CBS) — The City of Chicago is offering to pay for security cameras and other crime-fighting devices.
As CBS 2’s Chris Tye reported on Monday, the city wants more devices such as doorbell cameras mounted around town to catch criminals. Such technology has already proved useful – home security video in November caught young children and teenagers hijacking two women at gunpoint in Mount Greenwood.
City leaders also promise that what you share will remain completely under your control.
Was there an accomplice? What was the timeline? Who fired first? These are questions that CCTV can effectively answer, setting the stage for the next stage of an investigation.
That’s why the city wants to expand its focus to your front door.
Doorbell cameras help our viewers see incidents. They also help police investigate and help prosecutors determine charges.
“Video is a critical and critical part of solving all crimes – but especially homicides and shootings,” the superintendent of police said. David Brown.
Now, in hopes of solving the crime, the city is rolling out its protective rebate program for homes and businesses. The city is willing to pay for some of the outdoor cameras like doorbell cameras, motion sensor outdoor lights and self-installed vehicle trackers.
Videos and information from these devices can only be shared with the consent of the owner.
“The CPD will not have direct access to your camera system. The CPD cannot access camera footage without your consent, and there is no need to provide footage to the CPD at any time,” said Tamara Mahal, the city’s coordinating officer.
What is clear is that these programs are sometimes controversial.
A similar program was launched in 2019 by the Houston police. Unlike Chicago, Amazon-owned Ring Cameras’ free cameras came with chains.
As noted on a Houston Police Facebook post, participants had to “sign up for the Ring video recording plan for a small FEE ($30 per year or $3 per month), agree to allow HPD access to cameras when a crime occurs when we request it, and must place the doorbell where it has a good view image.”
Activist groups opposed the plan on the basis of police overreach, and the Houston Police Department said Monday they have since disbanded it.
Chicago is not charging any fees or adding conditions, but hopes the approach will keep the crime trend line down from its pandemic peak.
“You literally become our eyes and ears,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
George Floyd is from Houston, and sources say that’s part of why Amazon wanted to shut down the program. As for the Chicago program, details on how the payment will work will be revealed in the coming weeks.
If you have a camera on your home and want to alert CPD to its existence to help with a crime, you can do so now by visiting this website.
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