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South Bend fighting crime with more lights

By Zach Crenshaw
Published On: Aug 06 2014 09:43:25 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 16 2014 06:21:22 PM CDT

Residents, city officials, and Common Council members gathered Wednesday to announce new information about the Light Up South Bend program, which is designed to install lights in city neighborhoods to combat crime. WSBT's Zach Crenshaw gets reaction.

SOUTH BEND -

City Council members announced Wednesday that the Light Up South Bend Program will start putting up the first light posts in mid-August.

The two neighborhoods chosen to pilot the program are Keller Park and LaSalle Park. Between the two areas about 100 lights will go up.

The city hopes the better lighting will prevent crime and make the neighborhoods more welcoming.

“We consistently heard from residents that they’re sometimes scared to go out at night because streets are dark, alleys are dark,” said Tim Scott, Common Council Member (D-1st). “So what this does is make those improvements that should be there.”

The program has been in the works for over a year, and just last year, the council budgeted $200,000 for the initiative.

Both the Keller and LaSalle Neighborhood Associations are excited to have their requests met and neighborhoods improved.

“On a daily basis it's going to light up an area at night, our areas that we have crime,” said Gail Brodie, President of the LaSalle Park Neighborhood Association. “If you're doing something wrong, and it's [in] a lit up area [where] you can be identified, you're not going there.”

It’s not just about crime prevention though.

“Not only will this increase the safety, but it will also beautify the streets. So there's something that comes along from walking down a street at night and having lights, that encourages neighborhood communities,” said Vince Barletto, Vice President of the Keller Park Neighborhood Association.

The city is asking that you call 311 if an existing light is out, so they can map the calls and get a better idea of where lighting is needed most.