How do we keep our streets as safe as possible while supporting the men and women in blue? Keep your yard light white, and display your blue lights in your windows, front lania or coach lights.
What is Project Blue Light?
According to C.O.P.S (Concerns of Police Survivors) Project Blue Light was the inspiration of a mother, Dolly Craig in 1989, who put two blue candles in her living room window, in honor of her son Danny Gleason, who was killed in the line of duty, and her daughter in law, Pam, who died 3 years later. Sadly, they left 6 children behind. Dolly Craig is now also passed, but her legacy of the Project Blue Light lives on.
Mrs. Craig shared her idea with C.O.P.S., and they adopted and promoted this idea as a way to honor the officers who serve and protect us while remembering those who have died in the line of duty. According to their website,
Suggest a Rule Change
“The concept is simple. Place a single blue light in your window in memory of fallen officers. At this time of year, ornamental light fixtures, such as candlestick replicas, are easy to come by and serve this purpose well.”
We owe our gratitude to the men and women who keep us safe by putting their lives on the line every day – and sadly, sometimes give their lives, selflessly. We can show that gratitude and support to the officers who are our neighbors, and those who patrol our neighborhood by displaying the blue lights in our windows, or on our lanais, or on our coach lights.
Real and lasting impact
We can have an even more meaningful and profound effect, by donating to C.O.P.S., whose primary mission is to provide, “ Hands-On Programs designed specifically for each survivorship to help rebuild their shattered lives.” You can have a direct impact on surviving spouses and children of our fallen heroes by donating directly to C.O.P.S. You can also reach out to local law enforcement and first responders.
Speaking of safety
I’m sure you’ve noticed we don’t have public utility street lights to safely light our streets at night. The original developer of Sugar Mill Lakes, Gertz, struck a deal with Manatee county, that instead of street lights, we’d use our lawn lights to safely light our sidewalks and streets. Historically, the HOA has always sent reminders, as a way of ensuring we keep this important safety feature of our subdivision.
Appropriate streetlights provide lighting to increase visibility, promote road safety for drivers and pedestrians and discourage theft. Research shows that white light aid identification of vehicles, people and debris and enhanced peripheral vision, which increased reaction time, and , “it stands to reason that improved visual performance can bring associate safety benefits.” Researchers also found that crime rates increased significantly, when street lights were not present, or dimmed. 2,3,4,5,6
Conclusion: A win-win solution
We owe our policemen and policewomen our support, and want to honor those that have fallen in the line of duty. We owe ourselves and our neighbors a healthy environment where everyone feels on our streets and sidewalks. We can comfortably achieve both, by displaying our blue lights on our homes, and keeping our yard lights white.
- Project Blue Light, Concerns of Police Survivors,
- Using Streetlights to Strengthen Cities, Harvard University, Data Smart City Solutions,
- Street Lighting and Blue Light, Frequently Asked Questions, Energy.gov, US Department of Energy,
- Crime Rises in Oakland, and Dim Lights Get Blame, NY Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/23/us/crime-rises-in-oakland-and-dim-lights-get-blame.html
- CDOT: Using Data to Shine a Light on the Impact of City Services, Data Science for Social Good, Center for Data Science and Public Policy, University of Chicago,
- Can Street Lighting Reduce Crime?, University of Chicago, Urban Labs,