Keller Citizen

Town turns blue to support first responders

As Trophy Club residents take down their Christmas lights, one color will remain prominently displayed throughout the town.

The monthlong Turn Trophy Club Blue initiative started on New Year’s Eve and runs through Jan. 31.

Anyone can participate simply by putting a blue bulb in their porch lights, a simple gesture to show all first responders that they are appreciated, Dena Boudreau, a volunteer with the Trophy Club Emergency Volunteers Association.

Residents also can use blue flameless candles. The blue lights can be found on Amazon among other places.

Boudreau, a former emergency dispatcher and paramedic, started Turn Trophy Club Blue as a one-day event last year but it was so popular the town stretched it to a whole month.

Now in its second year, Boudreau said it’s a positive response to the criticism police officers have taken in light of recent racially charged shootings around the country. It’s also a show of support for firefighters, who also face danger on the job.

"We need to take that national rhetoric and show the reality," Boudreau said. "These are human beings who care about their community. I understand some of the things they go through."

Not only do first responders have dangerous jobs but they also see people at their worst, Boudreau said. And they often give out of their own pockets to help those less fortunate.

She said it’s less than 1 percent of the first responders who make bad decisions and cast all of them in a bad light. That’s why she wants Trophy Club to turn blue in response.

Trophy Club will do its part by illuminating the clock tower with blue lights.

"Driving through town at night and seeing all the blue lights displayed in support of first responders lifts the spirits and makes the officers proud to protect such a great community," Trophy Club Police Chief Patrick Arata said.

Fire Chief Danny Thomas said his firefighters go above and beyond every day but especially this time of year when they adopt families from the Roanoke Food Pantry. The toys were delivered on a fire truck.

Turning the town blue shows all first responders that they are appreciated, Thomas said. Trophy Club is the only town he knows of in the area that does this for a whole month. He credits Boudreau for coming up with the idea.

"We have a great community," he said. "They’ve been very supportive."

In September, Gov. Greg Abbott called for a statewide Back the Blue observance that coincided with the funeral of Harris County sheriff’s deputy Darren Goforth, who was shot while pumping gasoline. Police departments flashed their lights for one minute at a specified time.