Lincoln Park alderman invites residents to buy a police POD camera — for $25,000 installed

Many Chicago aldermen are trying to keep their heads above water in a sea of complaints about crime. Some aldermen are organizing neighborhood walks. Others are having Zoom meetings. A couple of radicals are even pushing for violent criminals to be — this may surprise you — arrested, prosecuted, and incarcerated. What will they think of next?

But the award for most creative crime-fighting proposal may go to Lincoln Park Ald. Michele Smith (43rd). She just announced a program that allows residents of her well-heeled ward to essentially buy their own Chicago police department surveillance camera.

The price? $25,000 each. Installation included, of course.

“Several residents have approached our office to ask whether the city will accept donations to help buy additional police cameras,” Smith wrote in a recent email to constituents.

So many people have asked about buying police POD cameras, Smith says, she decided to launch a program to accommodate them all.

The alderman’s office “will work with our local police districts to identify areas in which more cameras would be welcomed and pair them with donations from our community,” Smith wrote.

“If you are interested in donating to allow our community to acquire additional cameras in our area, please contact mckay@ward43.org with your name address and your pledge,” Smith wrote as she drummed up more camera cash.

Not every location will qualify for camera installation, so hedge fund managers who are hoping to have a couple of blue light cams installed outside their six-car garage may be disappointed.

“Please note,” Smith noted at the end of her pitch, “the locations must be approved by the police.”

Smith said she will also use some of the city money budgeted to her office to install new cameras.

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