Blue Porch Light Project

Updated on September 17, 2015
J.G. asks from Chicago, IL
8 answers

I noticed a few days ag that a neighbors porch lights were blue. I guess after the ferguson trial, a guy started a facebook campaign to show support for police by putting a blue light on your porch.

I'm curious, do you know about this and what do you think about it?

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answers from Los Angeles on

Are there really any citizens that don't support good law enforcement?
Are there ANY citizens that support lawless law enforcement?

IMO? It's like starting an "I'm against kicking puppies" campaign.

I have some friends that are policemen/women.

O. can fully support good law enforcement while condemning bad policing.
And while acknowledging the inequity of arrest ratios of black to white.
I resent anyone that implies people that demand fair and in bigoted police work are somehow "against" law enforcement.

They say people STOP holding law enforcement to exemplary standards? A very sad day.

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answers from Salinas on

If it has anything to do with the "war on cops" that's being perpetuated by Fox News among others I would not participate. If it's paying tribute to a public servant who has passed then it seems like a nice thing to do.

There is no war on police, simply a call for better training, more sensitivity, transparency and stronger efforts to weed out the creeps. Violence against police officers is way down, 2012 saw the lowest number of fatalities in 60 years.

Since the vast majority of cops want to protect and serve it seems like they would be open to becoming better at what they do. We are all for fewer unarmed citizens being shot, why not work towards that goal together?

"I stand with the cops no matter what" just dismisses the very valid grievances many people have. We have a big disconnect between the police and many of our communities. Some change needs come from the organizations whose job it is to serve the public. There are too many videos to ignore or explain away. No blue light is going to help that, we need to come together not retreat to our corners.

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answers from San Francisco on

I don't know anything about it but it sounds like one more thing to divide people not bring them together.

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answers from Boston on

I'm all for supporting the police, but I find these gestures to be empty most of the time. Kind of like putting a "we support the police" decal on the back of your car - it's mostly to help people get out of a speeding ticket. It doesn't actually do anything to help the police.

Same thing with pink breast cancer ribbons or buying pink products (that rake in profits and give a few pennies to cancer research) or slapping a "Support the troops" bumper sticker on (vs. enlisting or lobbying your elected officials to stop sending people into combat or to start supporting real veterans' benefits). And of course, there are the endless Facebook memes that say "Share if you're against animal cruelty" or "put this on your wall if you have a loved one in heaven."

It accomplishes nothing and is designed much more to highlight the individual's position than to actually accomplish anything through lobbying, funding or action.

So NOT having a blue light doesn't mean you don't support the police. Maybe working for gun control would do more, you know?

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answers from Lakeland on

I think now it is more to show support with so many officers getting attacked and shot, not just with Ferguson.

There is a lot of hatred being thrown at the police and whites with the "Black Lives Matters" groups. It doesn't help to have Al Sharpton or Louis Farrakhan cheering them on, or our President that rarely mentions what's been going on.

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answers from Rochester on

The blue porch lights have been around for a lot longer than the issues in Ferguson. It was originally started to honor fallen law enforcement officers. I remember a neighboring community using porch lights to honor a local officer who died from a heart attack while on duty. I don't recall if they were specifically blue. That was a good 10-15 years ago. Another community did the same thing after an officer lost his battle with cancer. A friend of mine is married to a firefighter. When their department lost a couple of men in a fire, their community also turned on porch lights. The original intent was not politically motivated or meant to be divisive. It was actually a symbol that the community was pulling together to support the family and department that had lost someone.

We personally wouldn't probably participate with blue lights just because our porch lights are not easy to change. I have a friend who is a former police officer. He said there are mixed feelings amount law enforcement towards the current project. Some appreciate the show of support. Others worry that those homes may be targeted because they show police support. It seems to depend on if there has been violence toward police in that specific area.

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answers from Washington DC on

The idea has been around a long time, since before Ferguson, and various accounts say it originated with a former officer, or the mother of a killed officer, etc. Probably there's no one origin but it's definitely not linked solely to Ferguson, though I'm sure someone did launch one campaign after that.

It's fine by me as long as no one starts to feel pressured by neighbors to have a blue porch light or be branded anti-police. It's a symbol of support, especially when there's been a police death or other incident, but I hope that the symbol doesn't distract people from more substantive support for police.

Our local police some years back said they really wish every house would have a porch light (blue wasn't mentioned) on all night, as well as motion sensor lights over back doors, garage doors, etc. They also asked for residents to be more proactive about phoning them on the non-emergency line if anything seems amiss and never to say, "Oh, I don't want to bother the cops"--it could turn out someone was casing the area or a person was in distress. Alongside blue porch lights as moral support, it would be great for citizens to ask police about ways like those to support more effective patrols in their specific neighborhoods.

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answers from Dayton on

I haven't heard of the blue porch light project but I did see a Facebook post about a Texas man starting an initiative in his neighborhood to show support for police officers by painting a thin blue stripe on the curb. It said the blue stripe is meant to let officers know that the person occupying the home has their back, appreciates their service and that the residents of the home/neighborhood will “have their back.”

I think it's an easy way to show support for the police. Not sure if those in my neighborhood would realize what the blue stripe represents.

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