TAMPA (FOX 13) - As reports circulated that Tampa police were investigating a tip in the search for a possible serial killer in Southeast Seminole Heights Tuesday, neighbors in that community continued their efforts to try to make their streets safer.
Neighbors organized a community-wide initiative called Light the Heights, which is aimed at collected as many Christmas lights as possible.
The idea is simple: the brighter the neighborhood, the safer it is.
"The initiative is to light every single house in Seminole Heights," said Kelly Dempsey the owner of Southern Brewing and Winemaking.
Dempsey is among the business owners who have offered their stores as drop-off locations for donated lights.
This weekend, organizers plan to go out into the community and decorate as many homes as possible to keep their community bright.
"The more people who are here, the more vibrant it is, the more it intimidates any future events from happening," Dempsey said.
"I feel terribly for the families that were been directly impacted. But for the rest of us, it's kind of like we need to keep our community going," added Bob Fiallo, who helped organize the effort, adding one of the main goals is "to keep Christmas going. Don't let people get into a bunker mentality."
Neighbors have been coming together to think of new ways to make their community safer after someone murdered four people in five weeks beginning in early October.
People from throughout Tampa Bay have been driving out to Seminole Heights this week to donate their unused lights.
"I saw that there was a need here and the timing was right," said Dan Szlag, who drove in from San Antonio in Pasco County, adding the murders hit home for him. "[The victims are] just completely and totally innocent folks, just going about, minding their own business and being attacked brutally."
"They need them here more than I do," said Bryan Chaffee, after donated a box of lights. "This could be our neighborhood. We could be going through this kind of angst and anxiety."
A full list of drop-off locations can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/Lighttheheights/