New program hopes to shine light on crime in Rockford neighborho - – Rockford’s News Leader

New program hopes to shine light on crime in Rockford neighborhoods


A new program in Rockford hopes to reduce crime by providing residents with more light.

It's called the Lights and Locks program rolled out recently by the United Way.

"The only street light at this end is this light right here [points to a street light], otherwise there's another one up about a block away so this area gets pretty dark," said Rockford resident Mitzi Pluviose.

Pluviose has lived in the Orchid neighborhood for the past 15 years. During the day the sun lights her street, but at night it's a different story.

"There is an alley that's just on the other side of my fence line that is nothing but pitch black," Pluviose said.

Since moving in Pluviose installed a separate light on the side of her house, but she says the light doesn't reach far enough to make her feel safe.

That's why she signed up for the United Way's Lights and Locks program. Through the program Pluviose and nine other residents will receive motion censored lights for their homes and new locks on their doors.

"This project rolls out of conversations with residents who felt that they would feel safer in their neighborhood if their neighborhood was well lit," said United Way of Rock River Valley Community Impact Manager Ashley Burks.

There is a small fee residents have to pay, but contractors and electricians with Project First Rate will install the upgrades and Nicoloson Hardware is providing the supplies.

"If we are going to empower neighborhoods we must use local resources to address those issues," said Burks.

The hope is deterring any criminal activity by shining light in Rockford neighborhoods.

"Some of these areas are really, really dark and some of us are really trying to fight against the crime and without the light, it's not helping us," Pluviose adds.

The upgrades to the homes will be installed by the end of this summer.

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