Honor them during holidays

Holiday celebrations draw together our families who are often pulled apart by today’s fast-paced world. This time of the year we remember those we’ve lost and remind each other of how fleeting our time together may be.

As law enforcement officers, we live with a very intense sense of that vulnerability. While you read about the deaths of officers like Jim Kinnard of the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department and later the trials like Charles Ben Finch, families right here in Monroe are still grieving and living those losses. The brother and sisters, children and parents are still part of our law enforcement family. Seattle officer Nick Davis, killed on duty Dec. 18, 1984, is buried here in Monroe, where he grew up. We feel those families’ pain as a reminder to be careful in our work, to stay safe. We want to assure them that their loved ones will never be forgotten.

Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS) is a national organization created to assist all of us in being sensitive to the issue of law enforcement deaths. Most often the public sees their efforts during the month of May in the form of Law Enforcement Memorial Day. I am writing to tell you of a way in which every member of the community can show their support for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

In 1987, Mrs. Dolly Craig of Philadelphia, advised COPS that she would be putting blue lights in her window that holiday season. The lights were in remembrance of her son-in-law, a Philadelphia officer killed in the line of duty and her daughter, his widow, who was killed in a car accident that year. COPS shared the idea. Now, thousands of blue lights shine nationwide during the holiday season to honor those who have given their lives in service. The blue lights also thank those officers who continue to work America’s streets every day.

As you plan your holiday decorations this year, please consider some display in blue such as a window or tree outlined in blue lights, even a single blue light in your window will show the families of Jim and Nick and countless others that you care. I try every day to let my officers and their families know how much I value their service. This holiday season my house will be all in blue.

Monroe Police Chief

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