HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania residents are asked to display a blue light in their home or office windows during the holiday season to remember fallen law enforcement officers and their survivors, State Police Commissioner Frank E. Pawlowski said.
Pawlowski said Project Blue Light was developed by C.O.P.S., or Concerns of Police Survivors, a non-profit organization based in Missouri that represents more than 15,000 families of officers killed in the line of duty.
The idea began in 1988 when Dolly Craig wrote to C.O.P.S. that she would be putting blue candles in her living room window that holiday season to honor her son-in-law, Daniel Gleason, who had been killed in the line of duty on June 5, 1986 while serving with the Philadelphia Police Department.
“The color blue is symbolic of peace,” Pawlowski said. “By displaying blue lights, you will show that you support America’s law enforcement officers and that you hope 2011 will be a year of peace.”
Pawlowski said 93 members of the Pennsylvania State Police have been killed in the line of duty since the department’s founding in 1905. The most recent death occurred on Jan. 13, when Trooper Paul G. Richey, 40, was shot and killed while responding to a domestic incident in Venango County. Richey is survived by his widow and two children.
Pawlowski said a holiday tree with blue lights and one star for each of the 93 members killed in the line of duty stands in the lobby of state police headquarters in Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County .
Additional information about C.O.P.S. is available at www.nationalcops.org.
For more information, visit www.psp.state.pa.us or call 717-783-5556.