Chicago: A City Coping With Crime

Published September 28th, 2017 | By


A Popular Location to Visit

Tourism is key in “The Windy City.” Last year, tourism accounted for more than 145,000 of all jobs and brought in $15 billion to the economy. In 2016, there were over 54 million visitors who travelled to Chicago. Compared to the year before in 2015, there was a 2.9 percent increase in travel. These overall numbers included people both on business and on vacation.

The two main reasons for the increased number of visitors are due to the various large-scale city events and attractions. Famous landmarks draw in an impressive number of people, locations such as: Wrigley Field (home of the Cubs), Millennium Park, Cloud Gate, Skydeck, Field Museum, The Magnificent Mile and others. These places are iconic—people want to be a part of something they have always heard so much about and finally have the opportunity to experience first-hand.

And while tourism growth has reached record numbers, Henry Hartevelt, the President of the Travel Industry Consistency Atmosphere Research Group stated, “The city will need to curb some of the violence continually making headlines to maintain that momentum.” He continued, “It may take a toll on leisure travelers who have complete discretion on where they choose to go.”

So despite Chicago’s popularity, the city will have to tackle its alarming crime rate if it wants to maintain its place as one of the leading travel locations to visit in the U.S. People want to feel safe and secure anywhere they venture—not just visitors but the residents of Chicago as well. One of the best ways to prevent crime is to come together as a community.


Life In Chicago

Despite its current issues with crime, Chicago is an appealing city for many people to live in. It is more than a place that continues to have issues with crime— stemming from its infamous Al Capone mafia days in the 1920s during the Prohibition era. Then, there was literally terror openly on the streets. Fast forward to today, Chicago is also more than a city that is renowned for simpler things, such as its deep-dish pizza.

Chicago is a sprawling metropolis with an abundant culture of diverse food, music and art. There is no place quite like it. As the third largest city in the U.S.—ranks just behind New York City (8.5 million) and Los Angeles (3.9 million), Chicago is home to an estimated 2.7 million people. The median age of its residence is 32 and mainly comprises of people of Caucasian, African American and Latino decent. The number of occupied homes is 1,045,560 and consists of mainly family-led households.


The Housing Market

Regarding the housing market, those in the metro areas have done best since the Great Recession of 2008. It has taken many areas to bounce back years after the recession ended. Other locations, such as the Northwest side have fared better than those on the Southside. Those on the Northwest side have more home equity, whereas those on the Southside frequently are facing underwater mortgages.

Only 15 percent of Chicago homeowners are viewed as being equity rich, meaning they have over a 50 percent steak in their homes. On the contrast, over 17 percent owe 25 percent or more than their current market home value. Regarding equity wealth, areas throughout the Northwest side are doing the best, including these neighborhoods: Old Irving Park, Mayfair and Jefferson Park, Logan Square and Avondale. These areas and numbers only reflect homeowners and don’t take into account the financial statuses of renters throughout the city.

One thing is clear: neighborhood wealth directly impacts the levels of crime a specific area will experience.


Migration to the City

One alarming thing to note is that Chicago’s population numbers are seeing the greatest population losses of any other major U.S. metropolitan city. The U.S. Census Bureau released this data in March of 2015. The report shows that the metro area decreased by 6,300 in a one-year span (July 2014-July 2015). This is part of Chicago’s total loss of over 80,000 people. Within the U.S., Chicago is losing its people to other locations (domestic out-migration) more quickly than it is having people migrate to the city.

Other large cities, such as New York City and Los Angeles see large domestic out-migration as well, but also see migrations to the city, offsetting any losses. After Chicago, the second worst city to see a net population loss was Detroit, which has had a floundering economy.

It goes to say that Chicago is at a crossroads if it’s not careful with things that can negatively impact its population. Crime is undoubtedly one such component that will potentially make people want to pack up and leave.


Chicago and Crime

As stated before, Chicago has a complex relationship with crime—stemming from over a century ago. Al Capone set the stage for the mafia presence in the area, but it wasn’t the last stint of corruption it would see. Plenty goes on today in various forms. From theft, burglaries, violent crimes and assault, murder and rape, Chicago is a city that has it all.

To put it into perspective: halfway through 2017, violence in Chicago had claimed the lives of 323 people. From an annual perspective, 2017 is likely to see over 700 homicides—more than what it has been in 20 years. Even in comparison to the more populous cities of New York and Los Angeles, Chicago has a higher murder rate.

Much of Chicago’s violence surrounds its gangs, which have a hand in everything from petty crimes to drug dealing. Other factors include unemployment, racial divide and hardships of the South and Western parts of the city. And while there are police to help prevent citywide crime, Chicago as a whole now faces a strong resentment of its police force due to recent cases of racially-related police shootings of citizens.


How Can You Protect Your Home and Family?

Where your home security and personal safety are concerned, there are things you can do to ensure that you are better protected from things such as burglaries and violent home invasions. Every year, approximately 2 million homes experience a home invasion; however, with a home security system, your home will be 3 times less likely to be targeted. Home security systems provide a peace of mind, allowing you to worry less and focus more on the things that matter most to you, such as your family and daily activities. Enjoy all that Chicago has to offer—after all, it’s a city with plenty of great things to offer.

3 Financial Benefits of Having a Home Security System

Published April 21st, 2017 | By

A home security system will require paying for upfront costs. And while those costs vary—depending on which package option you choose with ADT monitoring (Basic package: $36.99/mo.; Basic Wireless package $48.99/mo.; ADT Pulse package $52.99/mo.; ADT Pulse + Video package $58.99/mo.), there are numerous financial benefits of having a home security system in your home. Consider it an investment that also provides constant security monitoring to help protect your home and loved ones. It’s beneficial no matter what perspective you look at.

So now, you may be questioning how exactly will a home security system provide financial benefits. Here’s three different ways that’ll put money back into your pocket:


1. It Reduces Homeowner’s Insurance

Having homeowner’s insurance isn’t necessary to have; however, some mortgage lenders do require it to help protect their investment. Regardless, homeowners should know the importance of having homeowner’s insurance, since it protects against a variety of unforeseen circumstances—such as fires, floods, personal property damage, structural repairs, etc.

For example, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, a small flame can turn into a devastating fire within 30 seconds— which then costs an average of $4,000 in property damage. And that amount is simply the average: it can easily be more— leaving a household in financial hardship.

Having a home monitoring system not only helps protect against fires and floods, but it can directly impact insurance premiums. Whatever your homeowner’s insurance premium may be, it’s still an additional household expense— and bills certainly do pile up. A home security system often reduces home insurance costs by up to 20 percent. It’s definitely worth investigating.


2. May Be Tax Deductible

First of all, you’ll want to speak with your accountant on this specific matter, but generally speaking, home monitoring systems can be tax deductible for home businesses. Be aware that there is specific criteria in claiming a home business (the IRS takes this particular claim seriously). But if you do work or run a business from home, you can claim that specific work area (which is protected by the home monitoring system) as a business expense.

To claim a home business you have to meet certain requirements, which you can find more about on the IRS Home Deduction page. Deduction requirements essentially include:

  • Regular and exclusive use. Meaning you have a designated area that is used solely for business purposes. You’ll have to measure the dimensions of this space and use it to base your home business claim. The larger the space, the larger the deduction.
  • Principle place for business. This means that your home is the main place of business, where you conduct your business either full-time or substantially.


3. Increases Home Values

Home investments are a beautiful thing—particularly if they can increase the value of a home. When looking to sell a property, potential buyers are aware of home upgrades: anywhere from kitchen appliances, flooring, etc. A home monitoring system is no exception; it is another selling factor that can encourage a potential buyer to make an offer at a good asking price.

ADT Pulse Components

Published February 5th, 2016 | By


ADT Pulse provides the ultimate home security protection. Wherever you go, you have the assurance of knowing what’s going on inside your home. All you need is an Internet-enabled device and an Internet connection…and you are good to go. Depending on the specific Pulse package selected, Pulse enables either home automation or video surveillance. Just pick with feature is best for your home security needs.

So, the next time you accidently leave a light on at home, or you want to make sure that your kids got home safe, all you have to do is use the Pulse app (available for Android and iOS devices) to access all of your security information and unique settings. It’s easy and a complete life-changer!

At some point, you’ve likely said, “I don’t know how we found anything before GPS.” Well…get ready for the same sort of home security transformation. ADT Pulse let’s you remotely control your home security with the simple press of a button. Now you can enjoy all of your daily activities and vacations without the constant worry of what’s happening back at home.

When looking at ADT Pulse to safeguard your home, you’ll notice several high-tech pieces of security equipment. This is what Pulse includes (depending on your package and any additional features you select):

  • Wireless Day/Night Camera
    A wireless camera that captures day & night live video feed with great clarity. It is motion-sensitive, so it also sends an alert when triggered.


  • Wireless Outdoor Day/Night Camera
    This wireless outdoor camera also provides live and recorded day/night video with the outmost clarity. It records images that are up to 25 feet away.


  • Interactive Touch Screen
    ADT Pulse features an interactive touch screen that allows you to access your thermostat, lights, appliances, etc. It has an easy interface, which allows you to effortlessly use the system. The interactive touch screen also provides several additional features such as: news, travel alerts and the weather.


  • Wireless Security Panel
    The wireless security panel can be placed anywhere—allowing you to put it where you deem as the best location. Depending on your personal home security needs, up to 250 different devices and sensors can be linked to the monitoring system.


  • ADT Pulse Door Locks
    These door locks can operate remotely via an Internet-enabled device. So if you forget to lock the door, don’t fret; you can lock them remotely from anywhere.


  • In-Wall On/Off Switch
    These allow remote and manual lighting. Turn the lights switches on and off, right there from the comforts of your home or while you are away. Either way, it’ll help you conserve energy.


  • Plug-In Dimming Lamp Module
    These modules allow various lamps to be connected to your system. They allow further lighting control


  • Garage Door Opener Controller
    Using your Internet-enabled device, you can remotely open & close your garage door. It’s perfect for those times that you have a ton of groceries or you’ve forgotten to close the garage door.


Additional Equipment:

  • High Voltage Energy Switch
  • Nano Adapter
  • Wi-Fi Extender
  • IHub


Call us today to learn more about ADT Pulse!

Thinking about moving? Use these tools to check for crime in communities

Published January 28th, 2015 | By

It takes a lot of planning to move your belongings – or you might even say your whole life – to a new place. You want to be sure the house or apartment is just right for all of your needs and preferences. It also helps to know how close you are to conveniences such as the grocery store or various recreational locations.

But even if you’re moving to a new home within the same city or town, it’s important to also realize that crime can be higher or lower in some areas more than others. Luckily, there are several online tools available to the public that will allow you to view crime data on the state level, and all the way down to where your home is. If you’re planning the next move, you’ll want to know as much as you can about the location. That is where these tools come in.

1. Neighborhood Scout

Powered by Location, Inc, a SaaS (software as a service) company, Neighborhood Scout provides information on property crime rates down to the neighborhood level. If you have read previous Choose Home Security articles, you may have noticed several references to data provided by Neighborhood Scout.

Type in your city (or future city), and Neighborhood Scout will provide annual crime rates, including that per 1,000 residents. The interactive map that comes with each search provides color-coded data on each neighborhood of the city of your choice, so you can better gauge your location.

The below example shows data for Raleigh, North Carolina:


Apart from security, Neighborhood Scout also gives up-to-date data on real estate, schooling, demographics, and more.

2. Crime Reports

Crime Reports is a fantastic resource for getting to-the-point information about various crimes that have occurred in any given location, and also provides info on the addresses of registered sex offenders.

All you have to do is type in your address (or future address), and a map will be displayed that shows various incidents of crime in and around your location. You’ll be able to view general theft, theft from vehicles, and other incidents. Crime Reports is great for users who rely heavily on direct visual information.



Crime Reports


Spot Crime

Spot Crime carries a lot of visual similarities to Crime Reports, with some additional differences. The function is the same: you plug in your address, and you’ll get a detailed visual map of various crimes that have occurred in your given location.

While it appears that you need to “sign up” on the website, Spot Crime will also provide alerts for your given area when you plug in your email address.

Spot Crime is an extremely helpful tool, but will require some extra information on your end if you want to get the data that you are looking for. Once you register, you’ll be given a wealth of valuable information on the crime and safety of your address.

4. City Data

When it comes to down and dirty statistics, City Data is the place to go for numbers-driven individuals. Plug in either your city, county, or zip code, and City Data will return a map with crime rates color-coded from very low to very high. From the map, you will be able to view annual stats for various crimes, including burglaries going back to 2000. Some years appear to be missing, but this might range from query to query.

Continue down your search result, and you’ll be provide a seemingly endless array of tables and charts that outline the occurrence of crimes between your city and the nation’s average. You’ll even be able to view charts that detail how many police officers are active duty in your city.

Some examples of data you can view on City Data:


General: For all offers, the form of payment must be by credit card or electronic charge to your checking or savings account, satisfactory credit history is required and termination fee applies. Certain packages require approved landline phone. Local permit fees may be required. Certain restrictions may apply. Additional monitoring fees required for some services. For example, Burglary, Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Emergency Alert monitoring requires purchase and/or activation of an ADT security system with monitored Burglary, Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Emergency Alert devices and are an additional charge. Additional equipment may be purchased for an additional charge. Additional charges may apply in areas that require guard response service for municipal alarm verification. Prices subject to change. Prices may vary by market. Some insurance companies offer discounts on Homeowner’s Insurance. Please consult your insurance company. Photos are for illustrative purposes only and may not reflect the exact product/service actually provided.

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‡‡ADT Theft Protection Guarantee: The Customer presenting ADT with this ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE will be eligible to receive a reimbursement of up to five hundred dollars ($500) of Customer’s homeowner’s insurance deductible (if any) if, and only if, ALL of the following requirements are met to ADT’s reasonable satisfaction: (i) the property loss was the result of a burglary that took place while the security system installed at Customer’s protected premises was in good working order and was “on,” and while all of Customer’s doors and windows were locked; and (ii) the intruder entered the residence through a door, window or other area equipped with an ADT detection device, and such detection device was not “bypassed”; and (iii) Customer is not in any way in default under the ADT Residential Systems Customer’s Order; and (iv) Customer files a written claim with their homeowner’s insurance company, and such claim is not rejected or otherwise contested by the insurer; and (v) Customer reports the burglary loss to the appropriate police department and obtains a written police report; and (vi) Customer provides ADT with copies of the insurance claim report, the police report within sixty (60) days of the property loss and proof of settlement by insurance carrier; and (vii) Customer certifies in writing to ADT (by signing this ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE and presenting it to ADT within sixty [60] days of the property loss) that all of the foregoing requirements have been satisfied. Customer understands that presentation of this ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE signed by Customer is required and understands that ADT reserves the right to reject any application for reimbursement that does not comply with ALL of the requirements. Photocopies or other reproductions of this Certificate will NOT be accepted. By signing below, Customer certifies to ADT that all of the foregoing requirements have been satisfied. Please mail to: ADT Security Services, Account Management Support Center, Attn: Theft Protection Guarantee Claims, 14200 E. Exposition Avenue, Aurora, CO 80012.

^Same day installation not available in all areas.

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