TAMPA, Fla. – Officers are urging Seminole Heights residents to keep their porch lights on in an effort dubbed “6 to 6.”
The initiative, led by Tampa Police, involves residents keeping the lights on from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. It resulted from the difficulty officers had in assessing the scene where Ronald Felton, the fourth person murdered in the neighborhood within the past two months, was found dead due to low light.
City officials previously worked with Tampa Electric to add more than 100 streetlights to the area following the death of Anthony Naiboa, the third person killed in Seminole Heights.
Stan Laster, president of a local neighborhood watch program, said residents have also taken matters into their own hands.
“We've had some of our neighbors drive through our entire neighborhood at night and they've taken the number to every single light post,” he said. “Anything that was not well lit, covered by trees or burned out have been reported that to the city and Tampa Electric to get those repaired and fixed.”
TECO Spokesperson Cherie Jacobs said Seminole Heights remains a top priority for the company.
“Crews have repaired or replaced more than 400 lights in the area in recent weeks, and all reported street light outages are being addressed same day or next day as part of our increased efforts,” she said. “We continue to work hand in hand w the city to install new lights. We are working to install a new light.”
More than 1,500 streetlights were installed in Seminole Heights between 2015 and 2016 after Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn launched the Bright Lights Safe Nights program in 2012 with the goal of increasing working streetlights citywide by 30 percent.
Officers will go door-to-door in Seminole Heights this week to ensure homes have porch lights.
If you're light bulbs are out, you can contact TPD or the Southeast Seminole Heights Civic Association for new ones.
City maintenance workers spent Tuesday afternoon trimming hedges at the request of Tampa police.
Nearly 100 workers cleaned alleys and street corners, as well as trimmed trees, following the area’s second killing in the area between Nebraska and 22nd Street and from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Hillsborough Avenue.
Crews cleared seven alleyways of debris, boarded up seven abandoned structures, cleared debris from street right-of-way’s and street corners and trimmed many trees to provide full illumination from the streetlights.
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