By Abbey Snow

Mesquite again is preparing for “Project Blue Light” to show support for our local and national law enforcement by displaying blue lights in a variety of ways during the holiday season.  

Communications Dispatch Supervisor at Mesquite Police Department Lori Todd introduced “Project Blue Light” to MPD in 2015.  

Personally, I have been participating in Project Blue Light since I was a small child,” Todd said. Every year, for as long as I can remember, my family has been placing Blue Lights up during the month of December in support of Project Blue Light and also a reminder that we must never forget those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and been killed in the line of duty safe-guarding communities across America. This is a program that has touched many people. 

According to ToddProject Blue Light is national program that expresses support for local and national law enforcement personnel, and honors the brave and dedicated officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting communities in our nation. The project has been growing across the nation and is taking place in cities throughout California, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Indiana, South Dakota, IowaVirginia, among others.. 

According to Concerns of Police Survivors, Project Blue Light began in 1989 when Dolly Craig wrote a letter to COPS about how her son-in-law, Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Gleason, had been killed in the line of duty and she would be honoring his sacrifice by shining a blue light in her window. COPS continued that idea which has now grown across the nation.  

Todd said since Mesquite adopted the projectshe has seen a great amount of community support. The local stores have had trouble keeping enough blue lights in stock. Furthermore, last year the MPD and the City of Mesquite introduced the Beacon of Blue that was lit at City Hall during the Christmas Tree LightingIt signifies the cities support of Project Blue Light, and its recognition of the nation’s law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty, as well as those who currently serveTodd said 

This year will have some extra meaning with the recent events of October First,” Todd said. There were many officers from agencies all over that were in attendance at that event as civilians, as well as the officers working the event security.”  

Many in Mesquite have caught on to this movement and are supporting law enforcement. Local businesses such as Jensen Property Management supported the project for two years now by emailing everyone in their contact list to join them in their support of the MPD.   

“We want to encourage everyone to show their support, and feel it is important that we recognize the Mesquite Police Department,” Property Manager at Jensen Property Management & Leasing Lucy Rutner said. They need to know that we appreciate the dedication that these men and women have to this community.  At any moment they can and are faced with potential life and death situations. They assist us each and every day.  They help keep the peace. Mesquite is a safer place because of their service.  This is our way of saying ‘Thank you.”      

Todd feels its an important time for citizens to express their support for their local police officers especially with the unprecedented number of officers who have been deliberately targeted and killed in recent years. Our officers strive to build a strong police and community partnership, and this is an easy, but meaningful way for citizens to show their support, she said. 

Public Information Officer for Mesquite Police Department Quinn Averett said that so far in 2017, 118 officers and 20 canines in the U.S. have lost their lives in the line of duty.  

Participating in the project blue light is just another way we can show our respect and gratitude for those who have sacrificed their lives,” Averett said. “ We know our community supports what we do, and seeing blue lights is a fun outward expression and a great reminder to us of that support as we are out working within the various communities within Mesquite.”