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Creating Safer Streets with Better Lighting

"The overall motivation for the project is just to improve public safety. We're doing that through one of the most basic things you can do which improving the lighting in a community. Starting with where we're having the most concern," said Chief Mark Holtzman with Hagerstown Police Department.

HAGERSTOWN, Md. - Lighting crews traveled up and down alleyways Friday morning, changing and replacing lights throughout the city as a part of the police department's Safe Streets project.

"The overall motivation for the project is just to improve public safety. We're doing that through one of the most basic things you can do which improving the lighting in a community. Starting with where we're having the most concern," said Chief Mark Holtzman with Hagerstown Police Department. 

It's a project the Hagerstown Police Department has been working on for the past year and recently, they received a $10,000 grant from the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention.

The initiative is part of the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Program (CPTED). Officers said by adjusting environmental factors, it can help reduce crime.

"This is how it works is when a person can see a bit better where they're going, we use natural surveillance so people can see that there is crime activity going on or they can identify persons that may want to do them harm," said Officer Gerard KendleCrime Prevention.  

Officers looked at crime data and pedestrian traffic to determine which areas needed improved lighting. They started in Cramer's Alley and will continue to East Franklin Street and other areas near downtown.

"It's a two fold approach, fix the area where you're seeing crime and then the other part is to focus on the offenders themselves no matter where they may be," said Chief Holtzman.

Many residents say this lighting project is step in the right direction. 

"It's great that the police department is being proactive and preventive instead of just reacting and dealing with problems after they occur," said Michael Manspeaker, Hagerstown resident.

Police also said if you see a street light that need to be replaced, to call the Hagerstown Light Company and they will come fix it for you.

The project also includes trimming trees near and around street lights so they provide as much light as possible

Police said they're applying for more grants so they can expand the safe streets program to the east side of the city.

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