Sioux Falls, SD
A joint effort between the Pettigrew Heights Neighborhood Association and the City of Sioux Falls aims to rejuvenate the central city neighborhood.
As those who live in Pettigrew Heights and the City of Sioux Falls work hand-in-hand to improve their part of town, results are already happening.
"The numbers in all of the crimes that we trend, for the most part, have decreased or stayed the same. We have not seen any trends going up. So that's been very encouraging for us," Lt. Galen Smidt of Sioux Falls Police said.
A new safety plan hopes to continue that trend. Concerned citizens and city planners found more than 50 areas in Pettigrew Heights that need more lighting. Some lights will become brighter while 17 new lights will be added to streets and alleys. They also plan to cut back on shady activity by trimming nearly 140 trees.
"I truly believe that just a couple small steps made on a joint effort does make the neighborhood safer," Lt. Smidt said.
All of the new lights should be installed in Pettigrew Heights by the first of September. Those who live in the area say it's just one part of their puzzle.
"Having residents, whether they own their house and rent there or live there, and feeling committed to the area they live in, is psychologically really an important thing," resident Mark Sanderson said.
Sanderson has lived in Pettigrew Heights for 30 years. He says the improvements in the area are already apparent.
"A body in motion tends to stay in motion unless there's a resistance. I think what we have is an inertia towards creating a neighborhood that is fun and safe to be in," Sanderson said.
And with more improvements on the way, Pettigrew Heights will soon be brighter in more ways than one.
Residents are also encouraged to turn on their outdoor lighting to help the efforts.