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.

Top Tips to Baby-Proof Your Home

Published September 22nd, 2016 | By


Your home should both be and feel like a safe place for your family. But as a new parent, it’s sometimes difficult to know what’s a potential danger for your child. You’ll have to switch gears a little and inspect your home for items that are potentially dangerous. Here are some great tips at baby-proofing your home.


The Staircase

Each year, around 100,000 children are rushed to the ER for falling down the stairs. That translates to roughly one injury every six minutes. With that said, the stairs can be one of the most dangerous areas for a baby or toddler. Whether they are crawling or walking, they can seriously injure themselves or worse. To prevent a nasty fall, make sure you invest and install a baby gate.

Here is a vital note to make: never use a pressure-mounted gate; these can be pushed on can be made loose. Instead, you should install a hardware-mounted safety gate. Also, make sure your gate opens out and away from the staircase, this is especially important at the top of the stairs.


The Kitchen

It’s crucial that your child stays out of reach of detergents, other types of cleaners, as well as dishes. To ensure this, you should baby-proof all cabinets that are within their reach. One idea to keep in mind is to switch standard cleaning products, made of bleach, ammonia, etc. to more organic compounds made of vinegar, mineral oils and other natural ingredients. That way, if something were to potentially be ingested, the product is less of a hazard.

According to the Poison Control National Capital Poison Center, every 14.6 seconds, there is a reported poison exposure to Poison Control. In 2016, U.S. poison control centers gave telephone assistance to over 2 million callers, who were calling about human poison ingestion. Concerning child poisoning, out of 1,000 children (under 6 years of age), there were an estimated 41.3 poison exposures.

Also in the kitchen, you should make sure that any storage or grocery bags are kept out of reach, as these could become potential chocking or strangulation hazards. And it goes to say that all knives and other sharp objects should be properly stored and inaccessible to youngsters.


The Living Room

Living rooms aren’t normally decorated with young kids in mind. And it’s likely that some aesthetic sacrifices will be made in the name of safety. After all, there are plenty of dangers in this one room in particular. For instance, coffee and end tables have sharp corners. To ensure that your child isn’t accidentally injured on these edges, make sure you install edge and corner guards. Window blinds have long cords that hang. Make sure your child doesn’t accidentally strangle or harm themselves by adjusting the cord length. If you have hardwood floors, a nice area rug could soften a fall or tumble.


Electrical Outlets and Power Cords


Babies and small kids don’t mesh well where electricity is concerned. The National Fire Protection Association states that nearly 2,400 kids 

suffer from severe shock and burns caused by tampering with electrical sockets. As you can imagine, you’ll want to do all in your power to minimize the risk of electrocution. Make sure all unused sockets have socket guards or electrical outlet caps. You’ll have to keep a heavy that your child doesn’t play with cords. To help with this, try to tidy up your cords and safely organized/kept out of reach.

Want to better protect your kids? ADT Pulse provides the ultimate home protection. Learn more about ADT Pulse.




College Safety Tips

Published August 23rd, 2016 | By

Throughout the country, parents have recently dropped off their kids to college for another new, exciting fall semester. And a lot goes through a parent’s mind when having to watch their child take another step towards adulthood. None of the constant worrying will effectively prepare a student for campus life. And while universities do all in their power to protect their students and enhance student life (many universities provide safety awareness programs that predominately focus on assaults only), there are a number of things students can do themselves to ensure their safety. Whether it’s in the dorm room or throughout campus, these are the best ways to stay safe.

For those living on campus, the dorms present the first step in personal independence. It’s not an apartment by any means, since there is a resident advisor on every floor, but incidents still occur– especially theft. Students should do the following:


1. Remember to keep dorm rooms locked when the room is unoccupied and at night. This will help deter possible theft. Personal property must be protected. You’d be surprised by the degree of theft in the dorms.

One of the most recent statistic reports about college crime comes from a 2011 report by the FBI. That year, colleges and universities experienced over 2 million burglaries– which accounted to 25 percent of all property crime in the U.S.

During this time period, the top 5 schools that had the most crime included:

  1. University of California, Los Angeles
  2. Ohio State University
  3. Benedict College
  4. Arizona State University
  5. Florida State University


2. Follow the dorm guest policy. Many dorms require an electronic passkey to enter. Oftentimes, people will wait by the dorm building waiting to be let inside. But reality is this: if you don’t know the person, you don’t know what their business is there. They should never be let inside. Instead, the student should ask that person is looking for and then alert the person that is being sought out.


3. Keep your student ID safe. A student ID normally holds student cash credit and meals. If a card is lost, the appropriate campus personnel needs to be contacted. Not contacting someone about a lost card puts the card in jeopardy of being used.


4. Never walk alone at night. Campuses are equipped with emergency alert stations, which let’s students either place an emergency call or press an emergency alert button (which then notifies campus police). These are great safety tools; however, it’s essential to prevent instances that place a person in that type of jeopardy. Start by never walking throughout campus alone at night. And if that’s unavoidable, the student should be aware of his or her surroundings (not on the phone and distracted).


If you have a student in college, or you attend a university yourself, please share this information. It could make a world a difference and keep a number of people better protected. For more security tips, check out the rest of our ADT monitoring blog for a range of topics.

Preparing for Your Next Getaway

Published July 22nd, 2016 | By


We are in the heart of summer. For many of us, it’s hard to not daydream of our up and coming trip to the beach, mountains, etc. This is the opportunity to prepare for your trip—not just at your future destination, but back at home. Did you know that recent reports indicate that a burglary happens nearly every 14 seconds somewhere in the U.S.

It doesn’t matter if you are well off or are just scrapping by; a burglary can happen to anyone and in any neighborhood. Life is too risky to leave things up to chance. Preventative measures could save you not only thousands of dollars (most burglaries cost the average victim over $2,000 in losses), but it could also save your life and the lives of your loved ones. ADT home monitoring provides exceptional protection—24/7. Letting you enjoy life without all the worry, stress and anxiety.

So to prepare for your vacation, there are additional things you can do to protect your home. A home monitoring system is the best defense, but you can do a number of things to increase your protection. Here they are:

Stop your mail and newspaper delivery

It’s fairly easy. All you have to do is put a hold on your mail by going online to and filling out the form. Stopping your newspaper delivery requires you to contact your newspaper delivery service provider and doing the same hold process as your mail. The reason for doing all of this is to prevent your mailbox and yard clear of days or weeks worth of mail and newspapers. When you are home, you check and remove these items daily; so it’s obvious if these pile up. You are clearly not home if these are accumulating.

Trim back your bushes and have your lawn maintained

Having overgrown bushes and trees can easily block the views of your entryways. It’s a great thing for burglars, since they want to make their entrances as inconspicuous as possible. Proper trimming will give these entranceways a clear view for anyone to see, which is a great robber deterrent. In having your lawn maintained (even while you are away), you are again giving the appearance that someone is home. How many times have you seen a home with an overgrown yard and wondered whether anyone was even home? Exactly…it made you at least wonder the possibility.

Setup automatic timers

Appearances say so much. Automatic timers do just that. Set specific times for your lights to come on—both indoors and outside. A dark house screams that it’s vacant; precisely what you don’t want people to know while you are away for an extended period of time.


Have someone keep an eye on your home

If you are leaving for more than a couple of days, it’s a good idea to have someone you trust (like a neighbor, friend or family member) come and periodically make sure everything is okay. They don’t have to do much– just pass by and make sure the automatic lights are turning on, that the mail and newspaper are being held, etc.

You can give them a spare key as well as an alarm guest code for your alarm system (which is easy to setup) to give them access to your home while you are away. This is not only a good safety measure to have in place, but it’ll also give you some comfort and peace of mind.


****Another thing to consider is upgrading to ADT Pulse for remote home protection. Pulse lets you monitor and control your home from anywhere—provided that you have a Wi-Fi Internet connection.


How to Take ADT with You…Anywhere

Published May 27th, 2016 | By


We are all familiar with the functions of a home security system. They help protect households from burglaries, fires, carbon monoxide poisoning and help in the event of a medical emergency. At one point, users could only arm or disarm a security system—and if something ever happened, the security company would only then notify the homeowner. You couldn’t check up on things while you were away (unless you reached out to a neighbor or house sitter). Home monitoring, with smart technology operates much differently—providing remote home monitoring and video surveillance.

ADT Pulse is Revolutionizing Home MonitoringADT Pulse

ADT Pulse combines all of the great home monitoring features and capabilities that is standard of ADT monitoring systems, but goes a step further. It integrates remote monitoring, which allows instant security access to a home— from virtually any location. All that’s needed is an Internet connection and a compatible Apple iOS, Android or Windows device.

Remote monitoring is a great feature that allows you to stay in control… regardless if you are across town or in another country. ADT Pulse sends email and text alerts; informing you when any of your custom settings are triggered. With ADT Pulse, you are in control and can know your home’s status instantly.

Keep tabs on your home and have a newfound peace of mind—24/7. To put it plainly, ADT Pulse allows you to take your home and monitoring system with you, anywhere you go.

Transform Your Home Into a Smart Home

Remote monitoring with home control transforms any home into a smart home. Home control provides the following remote functions:

• Lighting Control
• Door Lock Control
• Appliance Control
• Temperature Control

Monitor Your Property with Video Surveillancevideo

ADT Pulse’s video control provides live stream and recorded video of your home. Now you can monitor when someone is scheduled to arrive, make sure your kids are okay while you’re gone or even keep tabs of your pets. A picture says a thousand words, making video control a vital part of taking your home—and ADT home monitoring with you, anywhere.


Did you know? ADT Pulse can help you save money on home energy expenses.

Simple measures you can take outside to protect the inside of your home

Published February 5th, 2015 | By

While the focus in home security tends to circulate around the protection of the inside of you home, there are plenty of ways that you as a resident can optimize the outside of your home to provide extra security.

Your home is everything to you, and the outside is the beginning point for an intruder thinking of making their way inside. These are just some of the things that you can do to help boost your security along with your ADT Home Security system.

1. Defensive plants and shrubbery

If you’ve ever gone for a hike in the woods, you have surely seen some plants that you know for certain that you would want to go nowhere near in fear of getting some cuts. Sure, the natural vegetation may not be the most aesthetically pleasing, but there are other species of plants disguised as attractive landscaping that deliver painful pricks and cuts.

Whether they are catcus, trees, berry-bearing plants, there are plenty of options thorned vegetation that provide good looks as well as effective defense.



Native to South America, bougainvillea plants come in close to twenty varieties. Their colorful array offers plenty of attraction, but when you get up close, you’ll see that these plants are heavily thorned. Other than thorns, it’s important to know that the sap of bougainvilleas are toxic to humans, causing skin rashes. Any intruder who thinks these plants are there to provide cover will be in for a very rude surprise.



Pyracantha is the genus of a shrubberies that features white flowers with a range of colorful (non-edible) berries and a high concentration of thorns. Also known as the firethorn, Pyracantha plants can reach up to twenty feet.


As most might know, cactus of thousands of varies feature signature thorns. While most would believe that cactus need heat to survive, they can thrive well in colder climates as well. Place them against your home, and intruders are less likely to target what’s inside of your home.

Rose Bushes

Roses transform any yard into one with big flowers, rich in color. They are as attractive in beauty as they are painful to touch with all of their thorns along their long stems. Place these plants under a window, and the thorns will work as a great deterrent to anyone wanting to climb inside.

There are plenty of other plants that you can employ for your home, and some more information can be found here .

2. The Power of Lights


If you are on top of the security of your home, you know about the value of timing your lights to turn on at night while you are away indoors. Why not apply that same principle to the outside of your home?

Let’s relate this to the protection of your own vehicle. An effective tactic that drivers use at night is parking their car until heavy street lights where intruders will have a hard time staying in the dark.

You may have a porch light up and running during the night, but how about the rest of your home? Consider placing a lighting system that covers all sides and corners of your home at night, illuminating the surrounding area enough where visibility is enough for you and your neighbors.

With ADT Pulse security automation, you’ll be able to control what lights are on and off from anywhere you are. This will be an invaluable tool for when you are away for an extended period of time

If you haven’t started a Neighborhood Watch program, consider doing so for the safety of your entire community.

3. Put those yard signs to work

If you already have an ADT home security system at work and haven’t employed the yard signs and window decals, consider their effectiveness. According to several studies discussed, yard signs exhibiting that your home is protected by a security system has served as a large deterrent against intruders.



This doesn’t mean that an intruder won’t attempt at all, but if faced with one home that has a sign and one that doesn’t, it is reasonable to believe that the intruder will go for the home that appears to have no protection at all.

There are homeowners who think they can beat the system and skip out on home security, but still have a yard sign in front of their home with nothing else. It surely sounds like a reasonable idea, but the gimmick has been catching on.

If you’re going to place the yard signs out, it is best to have a security system in place to back up your claim as well. You’ll come out winning in the end.

Thinking about starting a Neighborhood Watch? Here’s what you need to know

Published December 4th, 2014 | By


The Neighborhood Watch program is one of the oldest of its kind in the country, and in many instances it has proven to reduce the occurrence of neighborhood crime. According to a report conducted by the US Department of Justice in 2008, several research studies showed a 16% decrease in crime from observed Neighborhood Watch communities between 1977 and 1994. To this day, Neighborhood Watch programs continue to be active, and can be found across the United States.

If you’ve recently moved into a new neighborhood or complex and notice that no such program has been put in place yet, it is rather simple to impart for your community. Local authorities are pleased to assist interested citizens in setting up a Neighborhood Watch community, but some measures should be taken by the citizens first.

1. Let your intentions be heard and set up a committee

The biggest step in getting a Neighborhood Watch program set up is recruiting enough of your fellow neighbors with similar intentions. Forming a committee that can represent the neighborhood is crucial, and can be as simple as door-to-door outreach or starting a social media group. You will want an ample amount of people to begin talks with your local authorities who can help you establish the next steps in the process.

Having enough individuals willing to participate in the program is also important since you local authorities may have a minimum eligibility requirement as to how many households need to participate. This wouldn’t stop you from having a Neighborhood Watch if you didn’t have enough households, but your local police are the main source for providing you signs and other materials you might need.


2. Set up a meeting

Once you have a solid committee in place, it’s important to educate the others in your neighborhood and community about what the Neighborhood Watch is all about. While we’re at it, let’s break the main points of the program:

In essence, the program is a consortium of civilians who agree to maintain the security and safety of a community through cooperative measures. This mostly involves keeping an eye out on one another’s property, and reporting suspicious activity to the proper authorities.

Bring the overall mission and goals to light at the initial meeting so that all involved neighbors/citizens have an common understanding.


3. Work with your local authorities




As mentioned, it is imperative that you inform and work with your local police to properly set up the Neighborhood Watch. You might even go so far to as to ask for a police offer to be present at the initial meeting that you organize. With the police aware of your program, it will assist in overall credibility, and can also mean a resource in training and the laws that participating citizens need to know about.

So how does the Neighborhood Watch work then?

Although not every program has this in place, some will elect “block captains” to act as the liaison between the citizens and police to direct any new information that needs to be shared.

It’s important to note that block captains are NOT to act as police officers, and should NOT intervene when any suspected criminal activity is taking place. Block captains who falsely assume this role can risk facing serious criminal consequences themselves.

Other than that, having a common place to discuss the state of the neighborhood is a good idea as well. Perhaps have a Facebook page setup for others to join, or start a mailing list for all participating individuals.

Make it a point to involve as many citizens in the Neighborhood Watch program as possible. Even if they don’t attend meetings you organize, as long as they understand the responsibility in keeping an eye out for one another’s home security, it can lead to a safer environment for all.

* $100 Visa Gift Card fulfilled by Protect Your Home through third-party provider, Mpell, upon installation of a security system. Shipping and Handling Fee applies. ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services, which help you manage your home environment and family lifestyle, requires the purchase and/or activation of an ADT alarm system with monitored burglary service and a compatible computer, cell phone or PDA with Internet and email access. These ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services do not cover the operation or maintenance of any household equipment/systems that are connected to the ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services/Equipment. All ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services are not available with the various levels of ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services. All ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services may not be available in all geographic areas. You may be required to pay additional charges to purchase equipment required to utilize the ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services features you desire. Installation starts at $199. Burglary, Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert monitoring requires purchase and/or activation of an ADT security system with monitored Burglary, Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert devices. Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert services are an additional charge. Quality Service Plan (QSP) is ADT's Extended Limited Warranty. 36-month monitoring contract required from $51.99 per month, ($1,871.64), including Quality Service Plan (QSP). 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. Local permit fees may be required. Satisfactory credit history required. Additional monitoring fees required for some services. Photos are for illustrative purposes only and may not reflect the exact product/service actually provided. $99 Customer Installation Charge. 36-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $36.99 per month (1,331.64), 24-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $36.99 ($887.76) for California, including Quality Service Plan (QSP). Form of payment must be by credit card of electronic charge to your checking or savings account. Offer applies to homeowners only. Local permit fees may be required. Satisfactory credit history required. Certain restrictions may apply. Offer valid for new ADT Authorized Premier Provider customers only and not on purchases from ADT LLC. Other rate plans available. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Licenses: AL-17-1104, AZ-ROC217517, AR-2008-0014, CA-ACO6320, CT-ELC.0193944-L5, DE-07-212, FL-EC13003427, DC-602513000006, GA-LVA205395, ID-ELE-SC-39312, IL- 127.001042, IN-City of Indianapolis: LAC-000156, IA-AC-0036, KY-City of Louisville: 483, LA-F1082, LA-F1914, LA-F1915, ME-LM50017382, MD-107-1626, MA-1355C, MI- 3601205773, MN-TS01807, MS-15007958, MO-City of St. Louis: CC354, St. Louis County: 84959, MT-247, NE-14451, NV-68518, City of Las Vegas: 3000002944, NJ-34BF00021800, NM- 353366, NY-Licensed by the N.Y.S. Dept. of State UID#12000317691, #12000286451, NC-1622- CSA, OH-53891446, City of Cincinnati: AC86, OK-1048, OR-170997, Pennsylvania Home Improvement Contractor Registration Number: PA022999, RI-3582, SC-BAC5630, SD-1025- 7001-ET, TN-1520, TX-B13734, ACR-3492, UT-6422596-6501, VT-ES-2382, VA-115120, WA- 602588694/PROTEYH934RS, WV-042433, WI-City of Milwaukee: PAS-0002790, WY-LV-G- 21499. 3750 Priority Way South Dr. Suite 200 Indianapolis, IN 46240