DETROIT (WWJ) – More than 20 businesses have partnered with police to make Detroit’s Central Business District a safer place to live, work and play.

“Project Lighthouse” is a neighborhood watch courtesy patrol program designed to keep residents, workers and visitors safer in the city. Each participating business – known as a lighthouse – agreed to share footage from their perimeter security cameras with police. The businesses will also have security personnel available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist those in need.

Olympia Development Vice President of Security Rick Fenton said 23 businesses have agreed to become Lighthouse locations.

“We are providing 24-7, 365 days a year, access to their facilities to assist individuals who are lost, get separated from friends, experience vehicle trouble or are otherwise in need of assistance,” Fenton said.

With a simple phone call to 313-471-6490, help will be provided to anyone experiencing safety concerns. In addition, any business displaying a Project Lighthouse logo is considered a safe haven.

Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee hopes the program will catch on in other neighborhoods.

“If we’re very successful in this project, hopefully this is a way we can look at leveraging this type of technology and these relationships not only in the downtown areas but across the City of Detroit,” Godbee said.

The project has the backing of Mayor Dave Bing, who says he’s concerned about the spike in crime this summer.

“You know, police officers are just part of the solution, as our total community has to get involved. They’ve got to give the police department the information before something happens so we can stop it from happening,” Bing said.

Fenton, along with General Motors’ Director of Global Corporate Security Mike Bruggeman, developed the initial Project Lighthouse concept before taking it to the Detroit Police and others for support. The project is funded by the participating businesses with no cost to the City of Detroit.

Full list of Lighthouse locations:

  • Atheneum Hotel
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Comerica Park
  • Compuware headquarters in Campus Martius
  • Detroit Athletic Club
  • Detroit Medical Center
  • Detroit Opera House
  • Detroit Police Headquarters
  • Detroit RiverFront Conservancy
  • DTE Energy
  • Federal Government locations downtown
  • Ford Field
  • Fox Theatre
  • General Motors Renaissance Center
  • Greektown Casino-Hotel
  • Hilton Garden Inn
  • Joe Louis Arena
  • Marriott Courtyard
  • MGM Grand Detroit
  • MotorCity Casino Hotel
  • Wayne County Sheriff locations
  • Westin Book-Cadillac

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