Unique effort to shed light on crime by one city official

Unique effort to shed light on crime by one city official.

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - In an effort to shed light on some of the problems plaguing Savannah neighborhoods, one city official is taking a different approach.

Literally shining a light on high-crime areas of his district, Alderman Van Johnson, District 1, requested that a big floodlight be put up at the intersection of West 39th and Harden Street.

Alderman Johnson said he brought the idea to the table after observing just how dark this area gets at night. He believes making it more attractive for criminals.

Johnson said it will stay for an indefinite amount of time, and he even hopes to place more around the city.

"I've been going out there personally, almost nightly. It's a very dark area. And we talk about public safety, public safety is more than police officers. It's also the structural things in the community. It's a very dim corridor, and therefore people can move in and out very stealthily," said Alderman Johnson.

It's a relatively easy measure, one that was met with optimism from some living nearby who welcome anything that might help put an end to criminal activity in the area.

WTOC's Sean Evans spoke to others who noted crime happens even in daylight hours, adding they didn't see the point.

Alderman Johnson said the goal is get results, even if it starts with the simple light.

"There are issues that we can address structurally, we will address those. If that means work on the tree canopy, if it means adding lighting. Some of those deal with lanes. On the other end it has to be the presence there, it has to be a sustained presence. It has to be officers actually walking and riding in and through those lanes and in those corridor. That's what we expect to have over there," said Alderman Johnson.

Alderman Johnson said he's also requested a heavier police presence in the area.

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