Jonathan Turco of Suffern was lying in bed on a recent Sunday night thinking about how to show his appreciation for police everywhere when he came up with the idea for a website that would link across the world asking people to take a minute to show their appreciation.
To date, that small idea -- Blue Wave Shore To Shore Police Appreciation Week -- has more than 70,000 visitors with people from as far away as Australia jumping on the bandwagon and showing their police officers a little love. A quick glance at the site and visitors will see posts from Colorado to North Carolina to Mississippi.
Closer to home there are hundreds of people visiting the site and making an effort to do something nice for local police officers including in Ramapo and Suffern, and hundreds of others towns across the state.
" Now more than ever I think we owe it to the men and women that suit up everyday for our protection to show our appreciation by making a simple gesture such as buying a police officer a bottle of water, breakfast, lunch or even dinner," he said. "Be creative. A simple thank you would be great too. But remember to think about global unity and how we all need to be better to each other and bring our country together."
Turco is big on putting an end to violence in neighborhoods and cities across the country and bringing back a sense of caring and community.
"It's just crazy where we are headed," he said. "I would like to make this world a little better place for my children."
The owner of a local landscaping and construction business, Turco's children are the fifth generation to live on the same street in Suffern.
"It's all about community and just taking a minute to care about each other," he said. "It's not some huge project or event. It's simply being good to one another."
The website isn't Turco's first. He has several that help local Suffern businesses connect with each other.
"It's the same message, just on a different platform. On one of my sites there are 1,700 local businesses listed for locals to find what they need. It's all about community."
He points to the officers in the Suffern Police Department as prime examples of officers doing the right thing.
"They are always out there working to protect us and helping out when needed," Turco said.
Suffern Police Chief Clarke Osborn thinks Turco is pretty great, mentioning his website and the positive message he is sending across the world.
"This thing has gone viral," he said. "A small idea to buy us dinner has really grown."
To help even more, Turco has added a blue wave bracelet for sale on the site with the proceeds going to local and national police charities and organizations. The $7 bracelets have been a hit.
"Every penny of the money will go to a good cause," he said. "I guarantee it."
In meantime, Turco will be busy coming up with new ideas to help his community or bring people together.
"We as a nation have been divided and ultimately we have become our own worst enemy," he said. "We worry about terror attacks that come from abroad but now have found ourselves turning on each other. This just can't happen. Let's work together to bring an end to the violence."
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.