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Detroit Police and businesses launch new downtown security initiative

Detroit Police and local businesses are teaming up for a new downtown security initiative.

Project Lighthouse involves more than 20 businesses in the city’s central business district. They’ll give police access to more than 300 private security cameras in the area.

Rick Fenton, Vice President of Corporate Security for Ilitch Holdings, says the initiative evolved out of private sector collaboration with federal agencies and police to monitor big downtown events.

“That ultimately evolved into this lighthouse project. Which is an endeavor that evolved into sharing CCTV video, patrol grids, technology-sharing, crime-mapping, all sorts of other things.”

Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee says the project is meant to give police “extra eyes and ears,” and won’t diminish the physical police presence in downtown Detroit.

Godbee says the information-sharing agreement gives his department access to a security system they couldn’t afford on their own. He hopes it can be a model for other parts of the city.

“Hopefully, this is a way we can look at leveraging this type of technology and these types of relationships not only in the downtown area, but across the whole city of Detroit.”

Participating businesses will also show Project Lighthouse logos to indicate they serve as safe havens for people with security concerns.




Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.