By: J.L. Shirley
“With some of the anti-police agendas in the country at this time,” states Roxbury Twp. Mayor Jim Rilee, it is important to create a “symbol of our true feelings.”
The symbol which Rilee refers to is the decision to paint colored lines on the road in town dedicated to the teams of men and women who are the first to respond to town emergencies.
“We take a lot of pride in our first responders,” says Rilee, designating the reason for the decision being made to honor all first responders.
This sentiment has been reverberated throughout many towns in the country and Roxbury has joined the collection of towns which have chosen to stand up for their support and make it visible not only to the township and responders, but to anyone who drives down Main St. in Roxbury.
Many towns have adopted the painting of blue lines within the double yellow lines in support of their local police force and Roxbury was soon to follow.
“We have stood behind our police officers for many years,” states Rilee.
The town of Roxbury decided to take the line painting a step further, however and elected to also paint red lines in support of the fire department and first-aid responders.
The lines have been painted on Main St. and came at a minor cost of $1,800 which was “was within the amount budgeted for the paving/re-stripping of Main St.,” states Rilee.
Rilee explains that no ceremony is planned for this project because it is “just a gesture of support at this point in time,” and does its job without needing any more explanation, the town is behind its first responders all the way.
The idea for this project was brought to the attention of the administration by Township Manager Chris Raths, explains Rilee.
Raths explains that he was talking with some of his colleagues in Bergen County who planned on painting the lines and so he brought the idea to Roxbury. Roxbury Councilman Dan Kline suggested to Raths that the fire department and EMS be included in this gesture of support with the addition of red lines.
The lines were completed near the end of Oct. The blue lines on Main St. stretch from Rt. 10 to Commerce Blvd. with a section of red painted lines in front of the fire station. These lines are painted within the double yellow lines.
This project was overseen by the Department of Public Works Director Rick Blood.
The painting of the lines sends a strong message to the community and first responders alike that “the township appreciates all that they do for the community,” Raths notes.
Raths states that the police and fire department have been very supportive of this project and the community has absolutely taken notice as well.
The lines have been painted with regular road paint and will last for quite some time and although there are no plans as of yet to repaint them the idea has not been ruled out.
“I think it’s a great program and I’d like to see it continue going forward,” Raths concludes.