Local activist encourages residents to ‘Light Up the Night’

Local activist encourages residents to ‘Light Up the Night’
Houses lit up at night on Parsifal Place.
Photo courtesy of Michael McNerney

Light up the night – and not just for the holidays!

Community activist Michael McNerney and the Country Club Civic Association recently started ‘Operation Light Up the Night’, a new initiative which helps prevent criminal activity while bringing the neighborhood closer together.

Operation Light Up the Night encourages Country Club residents to install outdoor lights, motion censors, alarms and even security cameras as safety precautions for potential night-time perpetrators.

McNerney, president of the CCCA, started the initiative two months ago, after many incidents involving vehicle burglaries and trespassing had occurred in the neighborhood over the past two years.

McNerney even recalled a scenario where a trespasser attempted to break into his car at 2:30 a.m. over the summer – one of the contributing factors towards his decision to ‘light up the night’.

This initiative is a security blanket for our community – and a great way to enhance crime prevention,” said McNerney, who has lived in Country Club for the last seven years. “Now, we will be able to get a better description of the violators – and they’ll get the hint sooner or later.”

He added that initiatives like these also make neighborhoods grow closer, especially after seeing a similar scenario in Howard Beach, where lights have also been installed outside of residents’ homes.

“The quality and value of a neighborhood increases when there is great emphasis put on safety and crime prevention – and it makes the properties in the neighborhood more attractive to potential buyers,” McNerney said.

McNerney, who met with the 45th Precinct to discuss the initiative prior to its launch, added that Country Club is usually a safe and quiet neighborhood, but taking extra safety measures to ensure protection, especially at night, doesn’t hurt.

He said that the CCCA would offer assistance by helping install the outdoor lights, motion censors, alarms and cameras. All the resident needs to do is purchase the equipment. Energy-efficient light bulbs are recommended for the outdoor lights.

Residents can also utilize their cell phones to program when their outside lights turn on and off.

The goal here is to encourage home and property security to avoid unsafe situations – and these safety enhancements will increase safety throughout the neighborhood,” said Richard Kilgen, grievance committee chairman for the CCCA and a Country Club resident for the past 30 years.

“Whenever the police arrive at the scene, the first thing they usually ask about is if the property owner has security camera footage that they can look at – now we will have them.”

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