Years ago Payson had a campaign for Project Blue Light, asking citizens to display blue lights during the Christmas holiday season to show support for our police.
Many people put a blue light bulb in an electric candle in a window, decorated trees or eaves with blue lights, or put blue lights in their porch lights. I don’t know what police officers thought as they patrolled and saw the lights, but I thought it was heartwarming and encouraging.
For some reason, the custom did not last long except among a few caring souls. I think it is time we revive it.
Project Blue Light was begun over 20 years ago by Dolly Craig of Philadelphia, Pa. to honor her son-in-law, a Philadelphia police officer killed in the line of duty in 1986, and her daughter, his wife, who had been killed in a car accident in 1988, leaving behind six children.
Mrs. Craig is now also deceased, but her tradition is continued by Concerns of Police Survivors, Inc. and Cops Alive (copsalive.com/copsalive-support-project-blue-light/) and caring citizens in communities around the country.
Newer residents of Payson may not be aware that in 1992 we tragically lost Chief Dave Wilson, for whom Wilson Dome at the high school is named, when he was shot by a confused and unstable man as Chief Wilson approached to check on him. Other local officers have suffered injuries and close calls in the line of duty while protecting us and working to achieve a safe, peaceful mountain community.
Blue is a peaceful color. Police officers are referred to as the Boys in Blue, although now they include women and often wear black or other colors. Show your support of and appreciation for our local police force by displaying a blue light during the holiday season. Then safely leave it burning the rest of the year; officers are there for us 365 days a year.
An afterthought: if you put a blue bulb in your porch light, be sure your steps and walk are still adequately lit when needed.