By Audrina Bigos

CHICAGO (CBS)– The looting across Chicago came without warning and left business owners blindsided. Four months later, business owners in the South Shore neighborhood have a new plan of action to protect their store fronts from looting and robberies.

The Citizen app has real time alerts, pictures and maps all showing what’s happening and where through community posts.  New technology on the Citizen app is designed to connect and protect small businesses to ensure owners are prepared. 

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“The reason why all this came about for me was the aftermath of the George Floyd fallout where a lot of businesses felt very vulnerable, they didn’t have a plan,” Amena Karim, community activist and South Shore resident said.   

 South Shore Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tonya Rice said the app allows for alerts in real time.  

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 While app developers don’t want to get in the way of Chicago police, they hope this is a complimentary tool to fight crime. 

The next step is one-on-one coaching for business owners on how to use these alert features on the app. That’s going to be run by the South Shore Chamber of Commerce and a private security company.

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