DeWitt police building community trust with ‘Lights On’ program

Published: Feb. 15, 2021 at 12:02 PM CST
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DEWITT, Iowa (KWQC) - Police in DeWitt are building community trust through a new innovative program called Lights On.

Last year, Police Chief David Porter spoke with a police chief in Minnesota when he was informed of the program, that helps build community trust.

“It’s a common scenario, an officer pulls over a vehicle with a burned-out bulb except, now, instead of a ticket or warning, the officer has the option of handing the driver a Lights On! voucher for free light repair,” officials explained in a release. “The drivers can then redeem those vouchers for free repairs at any participating auto service provider.”

You can read more from the city’s release below.

“In many instances a broken taillight or turn signal can sometimes mean choosing between a minor auto repair or buying groceries for the family. It can also spark a downward economic spiral that for some yields multiple tickets, confrontations with law enforcement, and even vehicle impoundment. The Lights On! program has the potential to disrupt the downward spiral and build goodwill between police departments and the communities they serve.

Unfortunately, today many communities fear and distrust the officers that are intended to serve and protect them. The Lights On! program strives to improve, heal and transform police-community relationships. When participating officers pull over a driver for a burnt-out bulb, they can move with more confidence and hope knowing that they have a tool, a Lights On! voucher, to make the interaction a positive one.

Beginning this month the DeWitt Police Department will roll out the “Lights On” program. We are very excited to be the first agency in the State of Iowa to work with “Lights-On” organization, a Minnesota based non-profit, to implement this innovative program.

Our goal at the DeWitt Police Department is simple, to help our community and reduce crime. The “Lights On” program will help us do that, by building community trust and partnerships in a new and innovative way.”

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