The city of Chicago, wracked by crime and violence, is trying everything it can think of to improve the safety of residents.
Everything except what will work.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced on Monday a new initiative to give residents of private homes and businesses a rebate if they purchase a home security camera. The city will also give a rebate to car owners who purchase a GPS system.
Chicago will also crowdfund an effort to start a gun buyback program.
None of these programs will cut crime and violence by one iota. But it will prove to Chicago voters that Mayor Lightfoot is “doing something about the problem,” about a year out from the next election. And in Chicago, optics are everything.
For the fourth time in five days, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is offering a multi-million-dollar giveaway to Chicago residents in advance of a mayoral election now less than a year away.
Last week, it was 50,000 gas cards worth $150 each, 100,000 Ventra cards loaded with $50 apiece, and 5,000 free bicycles, helmets, locks and lights for Chicagoans eager to try an alternative mode of transportation.
This week’s $5.3 million giveaway offers “rebates up to certain limits that cover the cost of outdoor security cameras and one year of cloud storage for video footage,” according to a city news release. The rebates also apply to outdoor motion sensor lighting and vehicle GPS trackers.
Homeowners will be eligible to receive “up to $225 per camera for a total of $450” in residential security expenses.
The city will also pay for a one-year subscription for the video monitoring service and GPS tracking.
This is all fine and dandy, but did I mention that your video security camera will be hooked up to the Chicago police surveillance network?
This is not likely to deter any crimes. But it’s uncomfortable to think I won’t be able to spit on the sidewalk without someone’s camera recording the criminal act for posterity.
All subsidized camera systems will be registered with the Chicago Police Department as a way to increase coverage in crime-plagued neighborhoods and help provide inundated CPD officers with the video evidence they need to solve violent crime.
Lightfoot also urged Chicago homeowners and small business owners to register their existing cameras with the Chicago Police Department.
All the initiatives the mayor announced at her press conference are designed to catch criminals after they’ve committed a crime. In order to be proactive and actually protect citizens from crime, the city would need a lot more policemen and the passage of more aggressive law enforcement policies like “stop and frisk.”
If Lightfoot wants guns off the street, she should try that instead of idiotic, useless gestures to pay criminals for turning in their illegal, unwanted guns.