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Peace Officer's Memorial (Photo by: John Abernathy)
Minnesota State Capital Grounds, Saint Paul, MN

In law enforcement, the “thin blue line” has long stood for the almost indistinguishable separation between an ordered, lawful society and disordered chaos. It is our peace officers who maintain that separation. The Peace Officers Memorial, first located in the main concourse of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and moved to the St. Paul State Capitol Mall in 1995, honors those police officers that have died in the line of duty and depicts the “thin blue line” that the officers walk every day. However, due to outdated technology and the harsh weather elements present in Minnesota, that thin blue line had not been successfully illuminated for many years. To re-illuminate the focal point of the existing memorial, the design would need something that would make the blue line pop.

To achieve this important task, Lighting Matters utilized thirty six rectangular LED in-grade glass tile luminaires that, when mounted end to end, created a rich blue line of light. The line of 48” long lighted tiles travels down the stairs leading to the memorial, over a reflecting pool and under the fountain. Because the luminaires are flanked by decorative blue glass tiles, the thin blue line is still clearly visible during daylight hours when the LED tiles are not lit.

The LED light tiles created a much richer, more even illumination than the original metal halide fiber optics, and the LED luminaires’ durability and wet listing were more practical than the electroluminescent tape that had been installed and failed in the cold, wet Minnesota weather. The implemented solution provided a much needed update for the outdated thin blue line. The now-illuminated line adds drama and life to the Peace Officers Memorial – a fitting tribute to the men and women police officers who loyally serve the people of Minnesota and the United States.




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