Minneapolis invests in street lighting as a way to fight crime

Millions of dollars are pouring into a major public safety initiative in Minneapolis, and it has nothing to do with law enforcement.

Mayor Jacob Frey set aside $9 million for citywide lighting upgrades in the 2023-24 budget. City officials hope increased lighting will deter crime.

“It looks small but it’s huge,” said Ward Four council member Latrisha Vetaw. “To keep all the streetlights working, shining – it’s the least I can do as a council member.”

Vetaw invented the “Get Lit Minneapolis” initiative and says it’s a workable, proven solution that can improve safety immediately.

“We get reports in my office that no lights are working on some streets and that’s not okay,” she said.

While lighting makes people feel safer, studies show it reduces crime. In 2016, New York City increased lighting in some public housing projects and saw a significant drop in serious crime.

Vetaw said it won’t replace an increased police presence, but it’s a start.

Upgrades include adding lights, replacing old bulbs with brighter LEDs, and fixing broken poles.

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