Amid crime wave, Lightfoot offers security funds to homes and businesses

Chicago residents and business owners can get up to $1K in rebates for security equipment

Lori Lightfoot (Getty, iStock)
Lori Lightfoot (Getty, iStock)

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is offering a security equipment rebate for homes and businesses as she tries to address an increase in crime while seeking reelection.

The program will offer anyone who lives in Chicago, has a business in the city or owns or leases a vehicle at an address in the city reimbursements up to $1,020 for private security devices for their property and homes.

“We are taking a public health approach to community safety, and that means activating resources across a range of programs, policy changes, and activities,” Lightfoot said in a statement. “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.”

Eligible devices include outdoor security camera systems, cloud storage for video footage, outdoor motion-sensor lighting, vehicle GPS trackers, and subscription costs.

Any Chicago resident, business, religious group, and nonprofit is eligible, but those who rent and do not own their homes must get consent from the property owner to install devices.

The rebate will cover up to $225 per camera for up to two cameras, one year of subscription costs for cloud-based video storage systems with a maximum of $150 per annual subscription, up to $100 per light for up to two lights, up to $50 per vehicle GPS tracking device for up to two vehicles, and one year of subscription costs for GPS tracking applications as required for use by the vehicle GPS tracking device manufacturer up to $120.

The city is also distributing security equipment in neighborhoods hit hardest by violent crime in recent years, including 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 and West Pullman.

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Tuesday’s announcement came one day before Lightfoot plans to tell donors at a private fundraiser that she is seeking reelection. She plans to launch her campaign publicly on Wednesday.

Violent crime has shaken the city recently. In May, a mass shooting at a McDonalds on the Near North Side that left two people dead and wounded five, and the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Seandell Holliday at Millenium Park have left Chicago leaders looking for solutions to the city’s crime problem.

Lightfoot implemented a change in the city’s previously rarely enforced minors curfew, raising it from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the weekends, a move that faced ample backlash from groups like the ACLU.

The measure shows how central combating rising crime rates will be to both Lightfoot’s campaign and the election itself.

She has not made a secret of her reelection plans, raising money for the race and telling the Sun Times in April that she planned to seek a second term, but will join at least six other candidates in the 2023 race when she formally announces this week.

The incumbent’s rivals include Alderman Ray Lopez, Alderman Roderick Sawyer, former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas, Chicago businessman and philanthropist Willie Wilson, State Rep. Kam Buckner, and police officer Frederick Collins. Another 10 candidates are also weighing entering the mayoral race, according to NBC Chicago.

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