Cincinnati police using floodlights to curb crime

CINCINNATI -- Police say that people who commit crimes usually do them in the dark.

Cincinnati police have put up floodlights in high-crime areas as part of a new initiative to help deter crime in neighborhoods across the city.

Each of the city's five police districts has one of the lights. They placed them based off of data and/or community concern. So far, police say it's working.

"We know the bad guys don't like to be lit and we also know where our bad guys are," Capt. Lisa Davis, the District 1 commander, said.

The mobile lights can stay up anywhere between a few days and several weeks, according to Davis.

A light "just gives more visibility to the bad guys that happen to be in the area, but also to the residents that are there that, here, the police know about this and we're concerned as well," she said.

Police have seen crime and calls for service at the locations of the lights go down, Davis said.

Christina Thomas attends church at St. Anthony in East Walnut Hills, near a police floodlight placed at the corner of Taft and Ashland. She said she's happy to have the light there.

"It sort of gives the neighbors -- they see something, they will call the police," she said.

Mitch Morris of Cincinnati Works also said the lights are "a plus."

"Most time, people wait 'til dark before they do something, so I guess the lights will deter that violence to a certain level," he said.

The lights aren't only used to deter crime. Davis said they can also be used for block parties and community events.

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