MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Friday kicks off National Faith and Blue Weekend. Here in Memphis, the Memphis Police Department is hosting nearly 50 events aimed at community policing.
For many Memphians, flashing blue lights symbolize trauma and are the telling sign of another violent act.
“Every time we see blue lights we get nervous, but if we can kind of change that narrative, every time we see a blue light it can mean safety it can mean solidarity,” said Sgt. Tadario Holmes with the Memphis Police Department.
Holmes is spearheading a new initiative to break the stigma. This weekend, the department is encouraging citizens to “Light It Up Blue” as a stand against youth violence.
“We’ve seen too much going on with our young people,” Holmes said. “What we’re asking is for community members to purchase a lightbulb and just put it on their porch light and just light the community up.”
Most of this weekend’s events are targeting the city’s youth, as more and more children die due to gun violence.
“We’re telling them that you all do have a future and when one child dies that’s a generation that dies,” Holmes said. “So we try to give them that idea of hope to look for a better future and to do what they can do on their part.”
And with a spike in teens committing crimes, Holmes says it’s more important than ever to let your blue light shine in support of youth.
“It hurts me as a parent, and one of the reasons why I take this so passionately and I do this is because we want the community and the parents to know when you mourn, we mourn,” Holmes said.
MPD is asking people to light it up blue until Monday night. Saturday morning, there will be a Sea of Youth to honor children killed in violent incidents across the city.