BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Bridgewater resident of 47 years Pete (he declined to give his last name) was feeling frustrated by treatment of police officers around the country, so he decided to do something to recognize local officers.
“I was very frustrated with what I was seeing on television and the news,” he said. “Where I come from, you respected law enforcement and police officers.”
“It was frustrating and I didn’t know how to relieve it,” he said.
Driving in Readington with his wife one day, Pete said, they saw some lawn signs honoring police officers, and they decided they could do that too. He spoke to Bridgewater Police Chief Paul Payne about the idea to put up law signs recognizing the Bridgewater department.
“I asked what to do with the profits, and he suggested a national organization called Officer Down, which provides for families of officers slain in the line of duty,” he said.
Pete ordered 1,000 signs, and has so far distributed about 400.
“It was kind of a slow start,” he said. “I was trying to do thoroughfares like Country Club Road and Talamini Road. Country Club reacted very well to this, and then the ball started to roll.”
On one Saturday, Pete sat in the parking lot of the municipal building for a few hours to distribute signs, and it went so well, he will do it again Aug. 29.
Those who want a sign can call or text Pete at 908-507-0356, or show up when he is at the municipal building, on Commons Way, from 9 a.m to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Pete said he asks for a minimum $3 donation to cover the costs of making the signs, and everything beyond covering his costs will go to Officer Down.
“I am overwhelmed by how much people are giving,” he said. “Someone gave me a $100 bill. It shows the generosity and the real support for the police that’s out there.”
“I’m satisfied with the response, but more satisfied with the generosity,” he said.