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Opinion: We back the badge

A few years ago, Madera took up a “Blue Stripe Initiative” program, the purpose of which was to let law enforcement officers and first responders know that we mere citizens were on their teams.

The program was started by Love Madera and promoted by then-City Councilman Charles F. Rigby, who was (and probably still is) a strong believer in having a strong police force to keep citizens safe. He once told me that it was his opinion that public safety couldn’t exist without the services of a strong and well-trained police force, and that a police force functioned best when the Blue Stripe program, which he pushed, grew out of a similar program, that he had observed.

It was public safety at its simplest. Citizens would volunteer to “wear” a decal on the curbs of their houses or inside the windows of their houses.

Citizens liked the idea, and enough of them adopted it to make it a “Uniform” for the city, so you could see how it looked when it was in place on a curbside, or in the corner of a window.

Some people still display their “Blue Stripe Initiative” decals.

I think it might be a good idea to start displaying them again. They have no official reason for being posted, except one, and that is to let the wearers of the badge know they are among friends. And that is no small thing in this day and age.

I have a small badge that was given to me not long ago by Madera Police Chief Dino Lawson. I carry it in my pocket, but under no circumstance do I think it makes me an officer of the law. It would not get me out of a ticket, or any other violation of the law. On the contrary, it reminds me that I am supposed to behave as a law-abiding citizen, badge or no badge, which I believe is the way we all should behave. You will, however, get to see the emblem, which should remind us of who we are as Maderans and who we are as fellow citizens of this wonderful town.

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