Improved Lighting in East End targets public safety


HENDERSON, KY, May 9, 2016 – With warm weather upon us and school about to dismiss for the summer, some teamwork going on in Henderson’s East End is targeting some public safety issues.

One of them is improved lighting. In cooperation with the City of Henderson and the Henderson Police Department, Henderson Municipal Power and Light have been upgrading street lights in the neighborhood.

“The high-pressure sodium lights help us get better lighting in the area,” said Steve Smith of HMPL, adding that the electric utility has been moving to brighter lights in all area of the city as the older mercury vapor bulbs reach the end of their lifespan, but the replacement has been accelerated in the East End.

“We’ve been working from Atkinson and Washington streets to Pringle and up to Meadow Street,” Smith said, noting that there are about 200 fixtures to update in the targeted area.

The change requires an entirely new fixture, he said, because the newer bulbs don’t fit the old fixtures. The high-pressure bulbs/fixtures cost approximately $100 each.

“Good lighting is the best deterrent to crime,” said Henderson Police Chief Charles “Chip” Stauffer. “Well-lit areas are less apt to have problems, and that applies to vandalism and car prowls as well as more serious crimes.”

He said taking away the anonymity of darkness can be an important factor in public safety, adding that his department has seen immediate results when lighting has been improved. He specifically cited the area around the John F. Kennedy Community Center a while ago.

“They asked us to ‘light it up and let us see what’s going on’,” Stauffer said. “HMPL did and it improved things.”

He said homeowners can also do their part and encourages them to make sure their exteriors are well lit and bulbs are in good working order.

The police chief said his department also recently had a training session for bicycle officers who will increase patrols in the East End as school dismisses for the summer.

The presence of the bicycle officers will provide opportunities for relationship-building between citizens and the police department.

If you have a question or comment about the new lights or other public safety initiatives, contact the City Manager’s office at 270-831-1200.

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