Kari Humphrey is one of dozens of residents hoping to brighten Rockford’s future by shinning a light on the city's crime rate.
"It's unsafe. I mean Rockford is the ninth most dangerous city in the U.S. so removing streetlights just doesn't seem like a smart thing to do. We pay high taxes here. We should be adding streetlights, not taking them out”, says Humphrey.
Humphrey and 21 other Occupy Rockford protesters braved the rain and cold temperatures to march from the downtown public safety building to city hall...voicing out against the removal of twenty-three hundred streetlights.
Protestor Bill Weiss says, "Rockford has a lot to be proud of. Taking the lights down makes it seem like it’s hiding all of that. We need to turn the lights back on, bring back the safety to the people of this city and bring some pride back to this town."
The city hopes to save three million dollars by reducing thousands of streetlights. Mayor Larry Morrissey says the cost cutting plan is an alternative to laying off police officers.
"We're limited in what we can do so we're looking at every area. What we're building is an actual protocol for streetlights and if we need to put some back we'll certainly do that, but we can't afford to be inefficient the way we have in the past”, says Morrissey.
The reduction isn't having a financial impact on residents...taxpayer money was not used for the project. Com-Ed is paying the entire cost of the removal.