SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A Springfield Police detective is looking to honor her fellow men and women in blue who lost their lives in the line of duty.
She is joining forces with other officers in a first-of-its-kind fundraiser to enhance the memorial that sits in front of police headquarters.
While Detective Maria Siciliano says the current memorial is a lovely tribute, she says in today's day and age, it's just not enough.
Drive or walk by Springfield Police headquarters on Pearl Street, you may not notice the memorial dedicated to the seventeen Springfield Police officers killed while on duty.
"Our monument, although nice and quaint, thought we'd like to do something to make it pop a little bit, stand out a little bit, something we could be proud of," acting Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood tells us.
The idea came from Detective Maria Siciliano, who thought of longtime Officer Kevin Ambrose as a friend.
Ambrose was killed when he responded to a domestic dispute in the Summer of 2012.
"I worked next to him daily before he passed, and it means a lot to me. I know his family well and we want to let people know that we're not going to forget them," says Siciliano.
Siciliano proposed a fundraiser to acting Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood, who's all in.
It's called 'Light Up the Blue', a twenty-five-mile bike ride through the streets of Springfield and a 5K walk, both on Sunday, June 9.
Detective Siciliano is hoping to raise at least $10,000
After all, she says, they have grand ideas.
"I would really like to just make it a little bigger, present it a little more, put the plaques up, have streaming blue lights ongoing," says Siciliano.
The event similar, but smaller, in scale to the 'Ride to Remember', an annual bike ride from Springfield to Boston of which all proceeds go to the Massachusetts Fallen Officers and Firefighters memorial at the statehouse in Boston.
"They do a good job with that but this is more local," stated Clapprood.
All proceeds from 'Light Up the Blue' will stay in Springfield.
"It's a dangerous profession. It's a life-and-death daily profession that we want to bring attention to and we want to have a reminder right outside our door," added Clapprood.
The 'Light Up the Blue' event is June 9.
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