Project Blue Light honors law enforcement officers

Being a police officer is a dangerous job.

Kim Martin, the wife of a retired deputy officer, encourages Sequim residents to show their appreciation and respect to police officers who have died in the line of duty and to those who continue to protect others from harm by installing a blue light on the porch or hanging blue Christmas lights - a nationally recognized "thank you" symbol.

"Think of what the officers do on a daily basis and the sacrifices they make," Martin said. "They would put their own life on the line any given day for us."

The idea for Project Blue Light began after a Philadelphia, Pa., officer named Daniel Gleason was killed in the line of duty in 1986. Two years later Gleason's wife, Pam, died in a car collision. To honor the two lost lives, Pam Gleason's mother, Dolly Craig, placed two blue lights in her living room window during the holiday season in remembrance of her daughter and son-in-law.

"It's catching on here in Clallam County," Martin reported happily. "If officers or family members of officers drive by a blue light, they know what it means and that people are thinking about them."

"Officers never ask for things like this," Martin continued. "But I know it means a lot to them. I know how it feels personally - the things they go through and witness. They see the worst of the worst."

As Martin put up her blue lights this year, she said she was thinking of U.S. Forest Service officer Kristine Fairbanks, killed Sept. 20 near the Dungeness Forks Campground when she confronted a man, later identified as 36-year-old Shawn M. Roe of Everett, who was driving a van with no license plates.

"I think it would be special to do this for her," Martin said. "She is one of our own and her death really hit home here. I can't speak for her family and friends but I think it would mean a lot to them."

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