Project lighthouse provides safe havens

Campus safety has always been an important issue to the University of Detroit Mercy and its students, but driving around the McNichols campus on an empty gas tank can be a risky proposition.

 There have been dozens of reported crimes at gas stations near campus throughout the years. And on a larger scale, gas stations have been a problem area through the city.

City officials are working to change that through Project Lighthouse, an initiative that provides safe havens at gas stations around the city and more than 30 businesses in the central business district downtown.

Project Lighthouse is a program that provides safety and aid to anyone in need of temporary assistance. All businesses that are partnered with the project are able to deliver safety information along with police support if needed. The use of telephones and bathrooms are also available on site. The gas stations that participate in the program are marked with a blinking green light.

All locations are open 24 hours a day to ensure safety to residents, including Detroit Mercy’s.

“I have a few night classes this semester and I have always been cautious with driving home so late,” said Tabatha Sack, a senior nursing student. “It is nice to know that I have a safe place to stop and not be worried about making it home with no gas or popping a tire. I am glad to see the city do this, especially so close to campus.”

Some locations near the school include the BP gas station at 17776 Grand River Avenue and the Marathon gas station at 8930 W. McNichols along with locations downtown like COBO Center, Comerica Park, Detroit Athletic Club, Fox Theatre, Greektown Casino, the Renaissance Center, and many more.

Anyone who is lost or having vehicle trouble can call 313-471-6490 to be notified of a Project Lighthouse location.

“I think this is a great idea especially being so close to campus,” said Jessica Wahby, a senior nursing student. “I’ve lived on campus and commuted during my time here and safety is always on my mind driving to and from. I am very pleased with the improvements I have been noticing around the city.”

The city is working to improve safety for its citizens all throughout the city. Project Lighthouse is a great way to promote safety as well as prevent crime. Although these locations provide assistance to anyone in need, they do not replace 911.

The Detroit Police Department hopes that this project aids in the revitalization of the city. The purpose is not just to provide a safe haven for residents but also promote non-violence.

Several other locations will be appearing throughout the city and into the neighborhoods very soon.