February 6, 2023

City will offer Indianapolis businesses grants for security camera program

Mayor Joe Hogsett announces the b-link grant program for Indianapolis businesses. - City of Indianapolis

Mayor Joe Hogsett announces the b-link grant program for Indianapolis businesses.

City of Indianapolis

Indianapolis officials will offer incentives for businesses to share their security camera footage with police to help solve crimes.

The b-link program was created in 2019 by the Indy Public Safety Foundation and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. It allows IMPD to access personal and business security cameras, with the hope that access will improve public safety.

Personal cameras, such as Ring doorbell cameras, are not live-streamed to IMPD. But business participants can allow the police to access security footage in real time. Since the program began, more than 120 cameras have been registered to 33 Indianapolis businesses.

Dane Nutty, president and CEO of the Indy Public Safety Foundation, said the cameras have helped police investigate incidents such as last year’s shooting of three Dutch soldiers in downtown Indianapolis.

But Nutty said some businesses that want to take part in the program face financial barriers, and are unable to pay for the technology.

“Over the last couple of years, the biggest thing we've heard from the community is that they want to be part of the solution, they want to help. But there was a barrier to participation,” he said.

The b-link program offers grants to businesses up to $2,500 each to purchase the security cameras. The initiative is funded with $500,000 from the American Rescue Plan.

Nutty said the program is a way for community members who are concerned about crime in the city to help how they can.

“It provides a direct kind of evidence-based approach to community-based public safety and community policing,” he said.

Businesses can apply for a grant on the b-link website. Applications are due by March 17. Officials said there may be more grant opportunities in the future.

Contact WFYI criminal justice reporter Katrina Pross at kpross@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @katrina_pross.

Pross is a Corps Member of Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project.

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