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Lights out (crime up?) in Muncie

December 11, 2009

Things have gotten so bad in Muncie that the city plans to turn off 85 percent of its 4,107 street lights come New Year’s. The idea follows laying off swaths of firefighters and moving toward closing its animal shelter among other cost cuts. Read a story about the lights here.

Muncie could have prevented much of this had the city made itself attractive to the hundreds of sharp graduates cranked out by Ball State University’s nationally renowned entrepreneurship program. Those grads could have created companies, and more and better jobs, and ultimately improved the tax base.

For now, though, things are bleak and getting bleaker.

What will happen socially when Indiana Michigan Power throws the switch? Even though street lights traditionally are intended more for safety than security, will crooks feel they’ve gotten the green light?

Do you foresee additional results, psychological or otherwise? The city’s economic development director, Roy Budd, told the Muncie Star Press he fears a reputation as “the city that turned off its streetlights."


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