Bloomington unveils new Lights On! program
Written by Alexis Muoghalu on January 27, 2023
Photo provided by the Bloomington Police Department
NORMAL, Ill. – The Bloomington Police Department has teamed up with a program to help build trust in the community by offering vouchers rather than citations.
Bloomington PD Public Information Officer Brandt Parsley explains what the Lights On! Program is all about.
“Lights on is a program funded by microgrants… we take donations from a local entity which in this case would be Country Financial Insurance,” said Parsley. “Country donated $6,000 and the lights on program matches that donation so now out of that $12,000 the Bloomington Police Department is issued vouchers. With those vouchers, when an officer does a traffic stop for an equipment violation like a headlight out, the officer has the option to provide a citizen with the voucher rather than a citation.”
Many times, people may not be able to afford a citation on top of the cost to get their taillight fixed. Lights On! is aiming to eliminate the financial burden on the Bloomington community.
“The amount of citations we issue will probably go down because we’ll be able to do these vouchers and we get these cars fixed and it’s kind of win-win for everybody,” said Parsley. “You know, we won’t have dangerous cars on the roadway because of the weather in central Illinois. If you got a missing headlight or missing taillight, it’s dangerous for everybody and our goal is to make the road safer.”
Parsley also explains how this new program will help with interactions between officers and civilians.
“It takes a stressful situation for both parties and it turns something stressful into a scenario where everybody wins so so that’s kind of where the program is and that’s kind of how the program will be once it’s up and running,” Parsley explained.
The Lights On! program is working on its final stages and plans to be up and running in the Bloomington community in the coming weeks.
“Hopefully the goal is by February 1st is what we’re shooting for with a possibility of launching into the first or second week of February,” said Parsley. “Once the program is up and running, we can start doing some of these good will traffic stops.”