Organizers say several hundred people of all ages gathered on Saginaw’s Ojibway Island, Wednesday evening kicking off this year’s “Light Up The City” campaign. Michigan State Police Community Service Trooper Will Smith said police and other first responders will join citizens to walk through a different neighborhood, every Wednesday for eight weeks, starting June 20, encouraging people to turn on their porch lights and get to know their neighbors. The hope is that the events will allow residents to recognize suspicious activity and report it to authorities.
The original sponsor was Consumers Energy. The Jackson-based utility’s Senior Vice President Kathy Reynolds said Saginaw’s success led to similar programs this year in Jackson and Muskegon Heights. Consumers will be providing free light bulbs and energy saving tips.
The sixth annual campaign ends August 22, with a free community celebration on Ojibway Island.
During the free event, kids were tossing footballs with State Police troopers, Saginaw Police officers and Saginaw County Sheriff deputies. There were also bounce houses, hula-hoops and face painting with a variety of emergency rescue vehicles on hand.
WSGW News photos by Bill Hewitt