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Police Team Up With Gas Stations To Offer Safe Havens In Detroit Neighborhoods

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Gas station owners and Detroit Police hold a new conference to present Project Lighthouse. (credit: Kathryn Larson/WWJ)

Gas station owners and Detroit Police hold a new conference to present Project Lighthouse. (credit: Kathryn Larson/WWJ)

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DETROIT (WWJ) – You could call it a beacon of hope in troubled Detroit.

Police are teaming up with the community to create safe spots at gas stations across the city, in a new program they’re calling it “Project Lighthouse.”

Detroit Police Chief James Craig says that when you see the green light, you’ll know it’s a safe place to seek shelter, any time of night or day.

“There’s a lot of talk about what color the light would be. I’ve gotta honestly say that it went from being a red light, and I said we don’t want a red light district,” Craig said, to some laughter from the crowd at a Friday news conference. “I thought about my alma mater, I’ve got to admit,” Cass Tech.”

The green lights, along with Project Lighthouse logos and banners, are now hanging overhead at service stations crisscrossing east and west side neighborhoods.

The following locations will serve as the neighborhood lighthouse locations:

• BP Gas Station – located at 17776 Grand River Avenue
• BP Gas Station – located at 10601 E. Outer Drive
• BP Gas Station – located 10736 E. Jefferson Avenue
• Marathon Gas Station – located at 8930 W. McNichols
• Marathon Gas Station – located at14700 E. Jefferson Avenue
• Mobil Gas Station – located at 14820 E. Jefferson Avenue
• City of Detroit Airport Security Department – located at 11499 Conner Street

 (credit: Kathryn Larson/WWJ)

(credit: Kathryn Larson/WWJ)

Ideally, Chief Craig said, he’d eventually like to see the green lights going up at gas stations on every block of the city.

McNichols Marathon owner Nassar Beydoun explained how it works.

“What the program does is offers people assistance,” he explained. “If they need assistance they can come into the station, the employee will, you know, call the police if they have to. They’re able to use the facilities, the bathroom. You know the station because of the green light.”

Citizens will be able to use the phone, obtain safety information, and coordinated police assistance via community police officers.

Project Lighthouse, a public-private partnership, is an expansion of a similar “blue light” program founded by Ilitch Holdings and Rock Ventures in downtown Detroit’s Central Business District.

“You know, I made a committment coming in some eight months ago that we would be neighborhood-focused,” said Craig.
and such a great effort downtown — why not put it in the neighborhoods?”

Craig said a collaboration between the Detroit Police Department, other law enforcement agencies and the community allows Project Lighthouse to run at no cost to Detroit taxpayers.

Those who have serious safety concerns in Detroit are still urged, if they can, to call 911 first for assistance.

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