City of Carbondale adds new safety measures to a downtown area

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 6:07 PM CDT
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CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - An increase in crime leads to a new safety measure in downtown Carbondale.

City leaders say they’re trying to break up what they call large, disruptive crowds and make a dent in the hundreds of police calls to that area.

Carbondale’s Town Square sits just off the intersection of Routes 13 and 51.

It’s a combination of green space and benches, along with a large public parking lot.

Since January, city leaders say it’s also been the site of a growing number of crimes, ranging from property damage to drug use to shootings all happening late at night.

According to the City of Carbondale’s website, officers have responded to 1,150 calls to the Town Square area since January of this year.

City leaders are calling the activity in Town Square a serious safety concern.

In response and with a new tactic, the city has added speakers and flashing lights to one utility pole to deter disruptive gatherings and criminal activity.

According to the city, music coming from the speakers is intended to create a calming atmosphere and the lights are a reminder that there is a law enforcement presence to prevent criminal activity.

A city spokesperson said the lights and speakers come on when police feel they’re needed.

One resident who helps clean up the area said the added safety features are a good thing.

“I’ve been up here for five years, like I said, it’s pretty cool. Everybody gets together and we try and clean up, clean up all the junk and garbage and things like that. Just try to do the right thing,” said Robert Galloway.

City leaders say the lights and speakers are not a final solution, but they call it a better alternative than putting more officers in the area or shutting the parking lot down altogether.

Carbondale city leaders say the lights and speakers are not designed to put property over people.

Instead, they hope the effort prevents someone from getting hurt.

According to the city, they are trying to create an atmosphere on the square that will be comfortable and safe for everyone and not just the disruptive individuals.

You can find more information on the city’s website.

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