Neighborhood leaders push to light streets to cut down on crime

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 23, 2016) -- Across the city, some neighborhood leaders are concerned that the poorly lit streets they live on are inviting crime.

"Once it gets dark, there are a lot of streets and alleys and they're pretty dark once it becomes nightfall,” former Butler-Tarkington Neighborhood Association president Ted Feeney says.

He believes poorly lit streets and alleys are partly to blame for the neighborhood's increase in crime over the last several months.

"A couple homicides from last fall were actually in alleyways and it was pitch black dark,” Feeney says.

To solve the problem, Feeney says he and other association members plan to walk every street in the neighborhood every week to show Indianapolis Power and Light and city officials where lighting needs improvement.

"The process right now  is pretty time intensive,” Feeney says. “Is there a way that we can shorten that and fast track this? Because it can help neighborhoods.”

Help would be welcome in many parts of the city. Early Saturday morning, one person was shot and killed near 39th Place and Post Road. Two more people were hurt in a shooting on the southwest side.

While Feeney acknowledges lights won't deter all criminals, he feels certain they will help.

“It takes away the risk for bad things to happen in the neighborhood,” Feeney says.

Putting more streetlights, especially in some of Indianapolis’ toughest neighborhoods, to fight crime was one of Mayor Joe Hogsett’s campaign platforms. He’s promised to lift a decades-old moratorium that prevents the city from installing new streetlights.

The mayor's spokeswoman tells me the administration is in discussions with IPL about how to make this happen.

In the meantime, many neighborhoods will remain in the dark.

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