Community group asks neighbors to leave porch lights on to keep kids safe

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A community is joining together to keep their kids safe.  Columbus Ohio Stop the Violence is asking Linden residents to leave their porch lights on in the morning between as they head to school.

Michael Smith is a father of a 9 year old son.  He leaves his light on for the kids in his neighborhood.

“We getting a lot of stuff in the mailbox. Different sex offenders in this neighborhood . So I don’t want to take no chances with my son in the morning,” said Smith.

He moved to Linden three months ago.  Smith likes the area despite the drama that seems to consume it at times.  Bryan Winbush with Columbus Stop The Violence is asking everyone Linden to leave their porch lights on.

“Turning on your lights is one of those things to prevent problems from happening in your community in the first place,” said Smith.

His message is taking off.  Winbush wants residents to leave their lights on at 5:30am to 8am in the morning. The hours kids are headed to school.

“You go up on the corner of Westerville and Cleveland . You see a lot of unwanted activity,” Winbush.

He said many times kids are forced to walk through it and when its dark, It makes it dangerous for everyone, especially dangerous. Winbush hopes the community’s decision to leave the porch lights on will cut down on that.

“Instead of reacting to a shooting reacting to kidnapping or reacting to a scene in our community we need need to start doing things to prevent those things from happening in the first place,” said Winbush.

Organizers told me that if you don’t want to leave your porch lights on please at least look outside your window and pay attention to what’s happening around you and your neighborhood.

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