Volunteers install solar-powered lights in crime-blighted Rockford neighborhood

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Residents are installing solar-powered lights in a crime-ridden neighborhood in the hopes of deterring violence, thanks to a local fundraising effort.

Local organizations raised money for the new lights after a series of home invasions and rapes in the Coronado Haskell neighborhood.

The Coronado Haskell area is situated between North Main, Whitman, Rockton Avenue and Jefferson Street.

“Some of our neighborhood streets and alleyways are dark and they’re unsafe at night, and we didn’t want it to be that way,” said Charmain Logwood, President of the Coronado Haskell Neighborhood Association.

“The City of Rockford had pulled out a lot of street lights, and the neighborhood got really dark,” said Jeremiah Development’s executive director, Sue Kanthak.

The program to install 125 lights began in 2019, but efforts were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.

“Having these areas illuminated was the perfect way to bring about safety to our neighbors,” said Logwood. “We received the lights before this incident with the rapist came about, so it was perfect timing.”

“There have been several property owners that, when we’ve gone and installed lights, they’ve called and said, ‘I’m going to install more lights and I’m going to put in security cameras,'” Kanthak said.

Installation of the lights were made possible by several volunteers and the Rockford Police Department.

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