On Tuesday, July 15th, the Holmdel Township Committee met to discuss various topics listed by the agenda.
Following the executive session, the public session convened across Zoom and allowed members of the public to provide up to three minutes of comments regarding the items on the agenda. During this time, a major point of contention was the blue line that ran down the middle of Crawfords Corner Road. Over the past few months, there has been a petition for the removal of the blue line which has garnered over 1300 signatures, while a counter-petition against the removal has gained over 7500 signatures.
During the public session, many callers lined up to publicly voice their opinions about the line. One caller noted, "This blue line is a painful reminder of where our priorities lie that refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of the Black Lives Matter movement." While many expressed arguments relative to the current climate, others took a more pragmatic view of the line stating that it was "unequivocally illegal."
Other callers, in support of keeping the blue line, mentioned that the line is only showing support for the men in uniform who continue keeping the residents of Holmdel safe. During public comment, a caller stated, "to remove the blue line off that road is a disgrace to our police officers that risk their lives every day to protect us." Another constituent voiced support for the mayor's recent statement regarding increased training for Holmdel Police claiming that de-escalation training and the purchase of body cameras were "concrete actions to show their support for police reform [which is] also related to Black Lives Matter. But on the other hand, they show support and respect to police officers by keeping that blue line."
A common thread for all the callers was the support they have for the Holmdel Police despite decisions on the blue line. Nevertheless, at the same time, it is important to acknowledge Holmdel Police Chief John Mioduszewski's letter condemning George Floyd's killing earlier in late-May.
All sides considered, the removal of the blue line is a difficult issue that will only be addressed through listening to all voices.