Thousands of Americans are honoring slain police officers by starting a trend known as Blue Light Week. This week-long campaign began on New Year’s and will last through Jan. 7. As suggested in its name, residents and business owners are encouraged to replace their standard light fixtures with blue bulbs.

The campaign originally began in Virginia by local policeman D.J. Jessup who wanted to honor those who protect and serve, which he felt was really important given the negative reputation law enforcement officials faced in recent months especially over the Eric Garner and Michael Brown incidents.

According to Bill Davis, a member of the Fraternal Order of Police, he hopes more people will take notice of the event. In his words:

“Really I don’t think we can do enough to honor police officers that paid the ultimate sacrifice and have given their life in the line of duty.”

Many feel that an event like Blue Light Week is really important given the negative press and eroding relationship between police officers and minority neighborhoods. Many around the country feel that police have been unfairly stereotyped as racist, trigger-happy men and women in uniform who specifically target young black men. The recent protests have led to a lot of animosity and culminated in the ambush and shooting deaths of two NYPD officers by a gunman who claimed the shooting was in retaliation for the deaths of Garner and Brown.

So far the campaign has already garnered more than 100,000 likes and support on Facebook and other social media. The campaign’s official Facebook page has a simple message:

“These brave men and women have sacrificed everything for us. Show them your support.”

If Blue Light Week interests you, participation is as simple as buying a few blue light bulbs for your outdoor fixtures. If blue bulbs aren’t available, then simply get a blue marker and paint the bulb blue yourself.

[photo credit: Thomas Mues]