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‘You can see this from blocks away’: Reidsville police cars get new lights

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REIDSVILLE, N.C. -- Even in a marked car and while in uniform, Captain Brian Oakley with Reidsville Police Department says sometimes residents still don't notice him or other officers while doing patrols.

"The community is saying, 'We're not seeing police officers. I know you're not coming through our neighborhoods,’" Oakley said.

But he's hoping the blue light on top of their squad cars will soon help officers become more visible, even from far away.

"You can see this from blocks away at night time," Oakley said.

Next month, the police department will launch "Operation Blue."

Officers will keep this steady blue light on their squad cars, glowing all day and all night.

The goal is to make officers more visible while patrolling.

"It just makes them more comfortable when it's a police car riding through their neighborhoods," Oakley said.

Oakley says 14 cars are already equipped with glow lights.

But when you see them, Oakley says it doesn't mean you're in trouble.

"You don't have to stop or anything,” he said. “You don't have to do anything when you see this."

He also hopes the light will keep criminals away.

"The criminals are going to see the glow lights also and hopefully, it'll deter crime in the neighborhoods," he said.

Community watch leaders say their biggest concern from residents is not having enough of a police presence.

"I know they're doing their jobs, but we don't always see them," said Betty Huskey, a member of new Heights Community Watch group.

"We get a lot of complaints, ‘Well, we don't see them, they're not riding,’" said George Rucker Jr., chairman of McLaurin Park Community Watch.

Some think Operation Blue will change that.

"Let the community know that they're on the job," Rucker said.