PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Port St. Lucie Police Officer Richard Mazzio said he was hit by a car last fall going 40 mph. The impact threw him in the air about 25 feet.
“I’m happy to be upright. I’m happy to be alive," Mazzio said Monday. "Some people don’t make it through this type of accident.”
While recovering, Mazzio, who works the overnight shift, had a wish, to get some kind of safety device that officers could wear to be more visible late at night.
Through a grant request from the Spirit of Blue Foundation based in Oregon, more than 200 devices from Guardian Angel in Wisconsin were acquired.
“Anybody who works in dangerous situations where visibility is an issue, it’s to keep them safe," said Dan Keller with Guardian Angel, "and hopefully they can go home to their families every night.”
Mazzio has this request of motorists in his city.
“Slow down," he said. "You’re no good to anybody if you don’t make it there.”
And he hopes his idea takes root elsewhere.
“Maybe I set a trend," he said. "Maybe officers from other departments are watching this and other officers are being helped.”
The devices retail for about a $100 each and the light can be seen for up to 5 miles.