Garfield Ridge turns on blue lights to honor police officers

CHICAGO (WLS) -- With blue ribbons on trees and blue light bulbs, porch after porch in Garfield Ridge illuminated in the color of law enforcement, a way for residents to say to police, "We're leaving the light on for you."

"It sends a message home. It's such a quick indicator, a very simple action, but there's a lot of meaning behind it. And we certainly hope it catches on," says Al Torres of Garfield Ridge.

Torres is among many in the community bathing their porches in blue. The campaign was organized by residents of this southwest side neighborhood where many cops live. At a community meeting Monday night there were prayers for the safety of officers.

"We just want to show them that, hey, you know what, in all the troubled times that are going on in the country and in Chicago, that, hey, we've got your back. We support you," says resident Al Cacciottolo.

"Anything that helps show support for police, it's support for the community also," says Chicago Police Dep. Chief Eric Washington.

The effort comes at Chicago police officers patrol in pairs in response to the attacks in Baton Rouge and Dallas.

"Find a way to thank, individually, an officer for both being a police officer, for being selfless in their sacrifice for the rest of us," says Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

"It's a simple gesture. It's a bulb. It's just flicking it on to have the folks see as they go by, you know what, they're getting support," says Torres.

A Bridgeport company donated the light bulbs for the campaign, a total of 1,300 of them. Organizers are collecting donations for each bulb, with proceeds going to victims of the Dallas attack.
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