Earlier this month I attended a town council meeting via Zoom asking the mayor and council to paint a blue line in support of the Westfield Police Department’s unwavering service to our town during these incredible times.

Going into this meeting I clearly understood that this request was in violation of Federal Highway Administration standards, as did Mayor Brindle. Even so, I thought my request would get strong consideration given that Mayor Brindle gladly violated these standards as anyone can see who has recently been at the corner of Elm and Quimby. This idea was shot down by Mayor Brindle and I left the town council Zoom Meeting feeling that this was an absolutely absurd idea.

Since that meeting, very sadly, far too many police officers to chronicle here have died or been injured in the line of duty. But noteworthy is that NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio is to reduce the NYPD budget $1 billion. All while crime is climbing out of control with stray bullet killings of completely innocent youth being rationalized by DeBlasio and other NYC elected officials. Now that’s absolutely absurd.

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Also of note: in Bothell, Washington, not unlike Westfield in that it is suburb of a major city, an officer was just killed in the line of duty. The police chief said that in his 25 years their town had never had an incident of this magnitude.

Having said all this, last week I again attended the Westfield Town Council meeting and asked Mayor Brindle, in lieu of painting a blue line, raise a Westfield Police Department flag on the town flagpole located at Town Hall. In summary, the mayor said she was too busy for something like this, even though I have to believe this task would take only 5-10 minutes for this show of support.

Because of her “NO” response to my WPD flag raising my last question was if she was in support of defunding the police — specifically the Westfield Police Department. I was hoping, like I’m sure many of you, that she would say enthusiastically “No! I will not defund the Westfield Police Department!” But looking back at what she said and her tone, the defunding of the Westfield Police Department may be part of her platform, although when she presents this, it will likely be under the code word “reform.”

In closing, to the Westfield Police Department and all our first responders, I speak for thousands when I say THANK YOU!

Most Sincerely,

Frank Arena
Westfield Town Councilman 2008-2019

Editor's Note: You can view the discussion referenced above starting at the 32-minute mark in the video below.