The Fraternal Order Of Police – Lodge 57 wants to note the unprofessional, disrespectful, and immature nature of a Franklin Borough Councilman’s actions directed at the law enforcement community.
Specifically, this councilman recently publicly displayed on his social networking sites a picture that he selected / created, which consists of a cartoon character extending its middle finger outward while urinating on a ‘thin blue line’ symbol.
The thin blue line symbol is often used to mourn the loss of a police officer, and symbolizes the remembrance of those who have fallen in the line of duty. It seems that this councilman is suggesting that it is okay to urinate on graves of the 58 police officers in the United States killed in the line of duty in 2014, year-to-date. Or, the 105 police officers killed in this country during 2013.
While the public exhibition of this picture may fall within his constitutional rights, having this symbol appear on a social networking site clearly advertised as that of a “Councilman at Franklin, NJ” appears to be representative of the official position of the Borough of Franklin and its government towards the law enforcement community. That should come as no surprise when one considers the following:
1) The recent NJ Herald editorial from June 23 about Mr. Fanale (and Councilman Babcock’s) lack of respect and support towards the Franklin Police.
2) The NJ Herald article from June 17 about Councilman Babock’s interference with a domestic violence investigation.
3) A clear disdain towards law enforcement as evidenced by Councilman Fanale’s “Roxbury Law Enforcers are Pigs” rant from March.
4) Mr. Fanale’s Facebook posts and public statements made after the February fire in Franklin.
5) Council meeting minutes that show Mr. Fanale’s discussions about and votes against certain police matters.
6) Articles where Mr. Fanale refers to the Franklin Police as “union mob thugs.”
Mr. Fanale should be reminded that he was elected by the good people of the Borough of Franklin to be a community leader. As such, he should stand behind the Borough and make efforts to improve it. Public exhibition by a councilman of a picture of middle-finger-waving cartoon character urinating on a symbol that represents fallen police officers is far from true leadership behavior, particularly when this person has the ability to have a say and cast a vote on police-related issues in his capacity as a councilman.
The Franklin Police Department does an excellent job in protecting the Borough, even considering the apparent lack of support by some of its governing body.
For the sake of the community and in accordance with his oath, FOP-Lodge 57 hopes that Mr. Fanale can find the ability to become professional and learn the concept of respect for those he is elected to serve and govern.