Members of U.S. Army South assist with Security Lights at IDP Camps
April 19, 2010
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Gas powered security lighting for the internally displaced persons (IDP) camps was installed at various locations through out the Port-au-Prince area April 14.
The generator lighting rigs were purchased by USAID. The purchase came in response to reports of gender-based violent crimes in several of the IDP camps. The hope is that by installing these lights, violent crimes can be mitigated.
Army Maj. Jon B. Tipton, provost marshal, JTF-Haiti and U.S. Army South, helped with coordinating the movement and placement of the 15 lighting sets at four different IDP camps. Lights were placed at Corail Cesselesse, Petionville Golf Club, Ancien Aeroport Militarie and Terrain Acra.
"I take solace in the fact that what we're doing today could prevent a child or woman from being raped," Tipton said. "If I help prevent one gender-based violent crime, I've done my job."
Army Capt. James Holley, anti-terrorism officer, JTF-Haiti and Army South, aided Tipton in the logistics of the generator movement and placement.
"We've found that when there are lights present and functional in a camp, women and children tend to feel safer," Holley said. "Also, the local police are more willing to patrol [the area] and criminals are less likely to act."
The security lighting systems will be maintained by the communities in which they were placed.
After a successful day of making sure the lighting systems were delivered, started up and functional, Holley voiced his satisfaction.
"It's an awesome feeling when you can see and be part of something constructive being done," Holley said. "It makes you sleep a little better at night."