KANKAKEE — Kankakee police could enlist residential doorbell security cameras as an aid in the fight against crime and private donations will be used to help residents purchase these devices.
At Monday’s Kankakee City Council meeting a resolution establishing a private security camera incentive program was unanimously approved.
The program will reimburse a resident up to $100 for the purchase of a doorbell camera. The owner would have to fund other expenses associated with the camera system.
The thought behind the program is that police could access potential footage from one of these cameras to help gather information regarding a crime in the area.
The city has designated 10 Police Service Areas where doorbell cameras are being sought to help with crime. These areas have had the most difficulty in dealing with shots fired and weapons issues.
The PSAs are in varying blocks of North Chicago Avenue, Park Place, South Lincoln Avenue, South Osborn Avenue, South Rosewood Avenue, North and South Wildwood Avenue, East Chestnut Avenue, North Hobbie Avenue and Meadowview Avenue.
To access any potential information on a device, the property owner must grant permission to the police department.
Barbi Brewer-Watson, executive director of the city’s Economic & Community Development Agency, said $5,000 has already been donated by businesses and individuals to fund camera purchases. She is hopeful another $5,000 can be brought in.
“These cameras can be the first line of public safety,” she said.
She noted so often residents in these targeted blocks don’t feel they have any way of protecting themselves.
“This is about providing for comfort and control,” Brewer-Watson said after the council meeting. “These are areas where residents may not feel like they have any control.”
This doorbell camera rebate program can bring some sense of assurance to these areas, she said. Communities such as Elgin and Carol Stream have operated this type of program.
Application forms are available on the city’s website at citykankakee-il.gov. Funding will not be available until Nov. 23. People who have purchased a doorbell camera system since July 1, can also be reimbursed if they become part of the program.