CHICAGO (CBS) – A private network of neighborhood cameras help solve crimes in Roscoe Village – and anything that contributes to the increase in crime in the police district it is in, as well as throughout Chicago.

As CBS 2’s Tara Molina reported on Wednesday, the range of these cameras goes way beyond the doorbell cameras we usually see.

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The cameras are mounted on local businesses and are quite advanced. They are meant not only to help prevent crime, but also to solve crime.

“They are all exterior. These are all public spaces, ”said The neighbors of the village of Roscoe President Larry Peterson. “We want to act as a deterrent in the neighborhood, and to that end, I think it worked. It was also a success after the fact. “

After a crime, of course.

Peterson said the cameras made all the difference in some cases.

“Most of the time, it’s a piece of the puzzle,” Peterson said. “We have helped the police in several investigations.

Molina asked for recent examples. Peterson said recent cases were still pending.

Chicago Police can access their footage, but under the privacy policy they have in place, they can only see video associated with a police report.

The system has been operating for years now. The neighborhood group got the system and cloud network it lives on, operational in 2018, entirely through donations and funding for their events.

“We originally bought all of the gear,” said Peterson. “Now we’re at a point with our budget where we’ll offset some of that cost. ”

Each camera in the system costs around $ 1,000, and they’re on neighborhood businesses and homes.

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“We’re down to about 20 cameras,” Peterson said. “We don’t go into details.

But with the increase in crime, there are plans for more. This is part of the reason why the costs have to be compensated.

“We’re looking now, in 2022, to add more cameras and reassess the program,” Peterson said.

This is a program unique to the Roscoe Village neighborhood. But the crime figures that justify its expansion, unfortunately, are not.

Roscoe Village is part of the City Hall Police District (19th) – stretching from Lawrence Avenue in the north to Fullerton Avenue in the south, and from Lake Michigan in the east to the North Branch of the river Chicago to the west.

Crime in the neighborhood is last month compared to the same time last year – with criminal sexual assaults, aggravated assault and battery, burglaries and motor vehicle thefts up 100% or more.

Peterson says that at this time they hope to use them to crack down on a specific and recent violent crime they have seen in the area – car shootings.

“So if we can help with those – identify these cars, help the police, say, you know, they were here and help track them,” Peterson said. “This is one of the things that we hope to affect when it comes to violent crime.”

Some cameras have a high enough resolution that they can share plate information with the police.

“When you’re not safe or there’s a lot of crime in your neighborhood, you have to work really hard to make it go away, to make it a safe neighborhood,” Peterson said, “but once you you are a safe neighborhood, you still have to work very hard to make it that way.

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We contacted the Chicago Police Department to find out how they have used and are using Roscoe Village’s camera network. They had made no comment on Wednesday evening.


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