Project Blue Light honors fallen officer and others

Project Blue Light honors fallen officer and others
Project Blue Light supports law enforcement and other safety forces (Source: WOIO)
Project Blue Light supports law enforcement and other safety forces (Source: WOIO)

BARBERTON, OH (WOIO) - It's been just over a year since Akron Police Officer Justin Winebrenner was shot and killed at Papa Don's Pub.

"I'll miss his friendship. I'll miss him being by my side when I need him," said his father, retired officer Rob Winebrenner.

Justin Winebrenner was off duty when he died.

His father says not a day goes by that he doesn't think about and miss his son, who followed in his footsteps.

"I think my son is fueling me to do this," says Rob Winebrenner.

Not long after Justin's death, Rob decided to place a blue light bulb outside his home as a personal symbol of remembrance.

That bulb became a powerful symbol as others started doing the same thing.

So far, there are hundreds of blue lights throughout the community.

Two months ago, Rob decided to continue Project Blue Light by starting his own to honor his beloved son and other officers.

"It's just a small way to say I care, we care and we're happy to see you out there," Winebrenner said.

Now, thousands of lights are being delivered in Barberton and other neighboring cities including Norton and Copley.

"It just shows how it took off and it's sad that it took something like that to happen to make this come to fruition, and again it just
shows the support," said Chris Silva, a Barberton resident for more than 15 years.

"It makes you feel good. It lets you know that hey, there's somebody there. They may be the silent majority but they support law enforcement," said Barberton Officer Marty Eberhart.

If you would like to support the Winebrenner's Project Blue Light, you can make donations to:

Justin Winebrenner Fund

P.O. Box 19198

Akron, OH 44319

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