Cops Make Excellent Maestros, Coordinating Christmas Lightshows by a Band of Blue

By Stephen Owsinski

As I have written a few times in previous articles, cops are quite resourceful and accomplish many things for those they meet on the beat or wherever, responding whenever they hear the call for assistance or see a need.

Besides the myriad attributes among police personnel, there is a variety of go-to guys/gals for just about anything under the sun. My department had a pool guy, a screen guy, several mechanics, a few electricians, masons, concrete cutters, landscapers galore (it’s Florida), fence installers, carpenters, wedding photographers, food caterers, dog trainers, math tutors, paralegals, and the list goes on. Pretty much a potpourri of professions, second to policing—the many hats mantra is true.

Pretty high-functioning brains exist at cop shops. As a rookie and thereafter, the police force I joined possessed some of the best critical thinkers, all of whom taught me acute analysis and applications to not only forge solid cases against nefarious individuals victimizing innocents and gaming the system but to also help citizens navigate troubles of the general kind.

By nature/profession, cops pay acute attention to details and they tend to be omnipresent way-makers. And the fast-approaching Christmas season emphasizes these principles. The National Police Association explored this in a recently published piece regarding myriad activities cops are undertaking to ensure folks within their jurisdiction have happy hearts despite trying times.

Recently, my pastor referred to every human as a sojourner, placed here to deposit seeds and do good deeds. Relating that to our nation’s peacekeepers, law enforcement officers not only enforce our laws but also have keen abilities to ensure the environment and brighten it for those they serve. Sometimes this is in a literal sense…

Especially fashioned for Christmas, some police agencies around the country have carefully choreographed some incredibly mesmerizing light shows synchronized with musical notes to dazzle the brain and illuminate hearts of viewers. No stage was necessary, unless a police fleet parking lot is considered a stage.

Given that police agencies give names to major undertakings, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office dubbed this footage “Operation Merry & Bright” and said, “In an effort to spread some holiday cheer, members of our Community Response Unit teamed up and timed their patrol [car] lights to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra song ‘A Mad Russian’s Christmas.’ We hope this fun display of lights brings a smile to your face.”

(Screenshot of “Operation Merry & Bright.” Photo courtesy of the Lee County, Florida sheriff’s office.)

Also from the fine deputies working in Lee County, mindful of shut-ins during Christmas, a concerted effort to bring cheer to the hearts and souls of hospitalized children resulted in a parking lot display of lit-up police cruisers in the shape of a giant heart projected toward sick youngsters viewing from inpatient suites several stories above.

(Photo courtesy of the Lee County, Florida sheriff’s office.)

Pretty fascinating stuff, huh?

As you can see in the picture, public safety officials from the county fire/rescue joined in and used their fire apparatus to raise ladders in a metaphorical high-five for the kids watching from windows.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said, “During the holiday season, it’s important that law enforcement show support for others through community outreach. We hope this show of lights brought smiles to the children at Golisano Children’s Hospital.

“We illuminated our lights to show them that they are not alone during this holiday season. We are here for you. We support you.”

One of the most poignant police encounters I often reminisce is when my squad gathered during Christmas time and visited both children and adults confined in hospital settings and hospice facilities. Some of the latter responded not with words but with welled-up eyes and almost imperceptible smiles. This was an annual experience which had many cops tempered by fragility of life while also underscoring the role they play in a society which entrusts them to see/meet needs.

Human constructs unfurl every day in the lives of law enforcement officers—some lives are salvaged and others are provided dignity when nothing else can be done. In that regard, cops are a lot like doctors and nurses.

Christmastime seems to especially influence the psyche, conjuring many thoughts engendering the giving spirit and cheerful offerings, and cops are out there doing their part to brighten lives.

Remember how we mentioned how cops are a bunch of acute thinkers taking much into consideration? Well, here is another example of a magnificent police cruiser lightshow…with a byline forewarning, “The following video contains effects that may affect photosensitive viewers”:

Compliments of the Sarasota, Florida police department, that one was craftily video-edited with a cool addition of snowfall (certainly an oddity in the Sunshine State).

In keeping with our theme —cops crafting Christmas lightshows— not all are done in a cluster of cruisers. My dear friend Chief Ray Garivey garnered a True Blue Santa suit and drove around his jurisdiction in Freeport, Texas in a police-fleet Humvee decked in Christmas lights…maintaining COVID-era safety protocols while spreading cheer along the patrol beat.

(Photo courtesy of Freeport, Texas police Chief Raymond Garivey.)

That image lends whole new meaning to “Blue Christmas”…and it’s all good.

Per Chief Garivey: “Anything for the kiddos! Headed to make new friends in my Abigail sled Humvee [at the 1:20-mark] and bring smiles to some wonderful faces! Stay Relentless”

Anyone who knows Chief Garivey’s legacy is acutely aware of his heartfelt focus on children afflicted with cancer and his whatever-it-takes effort to fulfill their lives as much as humanly possible. Besides numerous media accounts attesting to this police chief’s stellar stewardship over youngsters, especially those enduring dire battles toward survival, his Facebook page illustrates this man’s place on Earth in the capacity of a policeman filling his oath…and then some.

Speaking of cops and their depth of love and compassion for children, we conclude with another among many soul-stirring stories pertaining to cops lighting it up for Christmas.

Although I do my darnedest to abstain from re-using material I’ve used before, there are always exceptions. This is one of those…

The following short video shares the tales from the perspective and experiences of a state trooper working many Christmas Eves throughout his career and how cops work magic without the hocus pocus. The following poignant police story symbolizes well our topic today, with a happy ending typifying why law enforcement officers enter the business of helping people during their worst of times (Kleenex alert):

https://youtu.be/Yt83CS1DxGI

Enjoy your holiday, everyone…and know that a police officer is out there should you need a hand with anything or listening ears to just…listen and brighten the season, even if your travel plans go astray.

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