BRANFORD – A retired law enforcement officer in Branford is doing his part to show police they are supported, and he’s getting his whole town involved.
Stan Konesky Jr. is a former police lieutenant, whose career includes 29 years with the Branford Police Department and 13 years teaching at the state police academy. He said the deaths of officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge inspired him to do something to show his gratitude for police.
“You call 911, they come. They help you. They put their life on the line for you,” said Konesky. “If you watch Dallas, as the people were running from the shooters, where did you see the cops go? They went there.”
He came up with the idea of a simple blue ribbon, which individuals and businesses could display publicly.
“People would see it on a house or on a mailbox or on a storefront," Konesky said. "When the police officer would go by, he'd see the blue ribbon and I hope it makes him or her feel good that someone's supporting them and is appreciative of their job and what they’re doing.”
Konesky started with his own small personal address book, but the idea spread quickly. Since Wednesday, he has handed out 105 ribbons, and has another 100 requests.
The local garden club is even planning to put a blue ribbon in all 32 flower baskets hanging from the town’s streetlights surrounding the green. Almost all of the businesses along Main Street, including the Branford Book and Card Shoppe, are displaying ribbons already.
“I think it’s great. I think we should all stand behind them and pray and hope for safety,” said Sal Esposito, Owner of the Branford Book and Card Shoppe.
“At first I thought maybe 50, and then I said, ‘No, 200 or 300.’ Now I’m awfully greedy and I want all of Branford blue,” Konesky said.
He tells Fox 61 residents of several other Connecticut towns have contacted him about starting their own blue ribbon campaigns. If you’d like to get involved, you can e-mail Stan Konesky Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org.