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DV Pilot police & fire

Councilman’s comments, image of ‘Calvin’ pissing on Thin Blue Line outrages law enforcement

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A Sussex County councilman already under fire for anti-police comments has drawn the anger of law enforcement officers beyond New Jersey’s borders for an image he posted online of the cartoon character Calvin pissing on the recognized symbol of the Thin Blue Line while raising his middle finger.

Craig Polen, who administers the 15,000-member “LEO-Only” message board, said the complaints about Councilman David Fanale have increased since the “Calvin and Hobbes” image was posted.

“Sure, we believe in and support freedom of speech,” Polen told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . “But that thin blue line has come to represent fallen officers and their families. And in that picture, he is desecrating these people and those memories.

“That is beyond an insult to the law enforcement community in general. It insults those who gave their lives in the line of duty protecting you, me, our homes and our families.”

Jerry DeMarco
Publisher/Editor
CLIFFVIEW PILOT

“It’s despicable that someone thinks that way to begin with,” New Jersey State Corrections Officer Sean Kelly added. “But to piss on the graves of fallen officers publicly — that’s beyond the bounds of decency and respect.”

Fanale got flak in his own town after he went on Facebook to criticize a Franklin Borough officer who was injured while helping to rescue pets during a fire at a Route 23 shop in February.

Fanale, a councilman since last December, essentially that said an officer who enters a “hazardous situation” where “no human life is at risk…isn’t a hero, he’s a fool.”

The officer, Fanale said, “deliberately placed himself in a dangerous scenario, unnecessarily placed his well-being at risk, and is NOT deserving of ‘hero’ status, but rather, disciplinary action.”

That was tame compared to what came next.

Claiming that he and his fiancée were intimidated by two Roxbury police officers during a traffic stop, Fanale called the department’s officers “pigs” and officers “maggots of society.”

“The truth is; (sic) the only difference between the punks in blue and the bad guys they lock up are the uniforms which there are forced to wear; (sic) blue or prison orange,” says Fanale’s post, titled, “Roxbury Law Enforcers are PIGS! (Now that I have your attention …).

“If you’re an honest American, and honest with yourself, perhaps it’s time you don’t remain silent and begin to speak out against that evil which oppresses each and every resident of this state … law enforcement.” ( READ THE FULL POST BELOW )

“You can be upset if you want when you’ve had a bad experience,” Polen said. “In fact, there are some bad apples out there who do make it tougher for the 99% of good cops.

“But that’s no reason to desecrate the memories of those who’ve fallen, or to cause unnecessary anguish for their survivors.”

Polen’s group has raised $32,000 so far this year for Christmas shopping sprees for the children of officers killed in the line of duty.

Last year, Jake Abraham had a holiday to remember at Toys R Us. The mildly autistic youngster — whose father, Teaneck Police Officer John Abraham, was killed in a car crash four years ago — left with Xbox games and other presents he wanted.

SEE: Son of late Teaneck cop gets Christmas toys thanks to PBA, Facebook group

Other youngsters treated to toys included the offspring of Jersey City Police Sgt. Mark DiNardo, who was killed by a crazed gunman in July 2009, days short of his 39th birthday.

Fanale wouldn’t comment, citing the advice of his lawyer.

“Everything is out there. Everything is public,” he said.

He removed the offensive image earlier today and replaced it with one of actor Tom Lennon from the Comedy Central show, “Reno 911″ ( above ), as media members began making inquiries.

But the damage had already been done.

“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,” wrote Franklin Detective Nevin Mattssich of the local FOP, which represents 25 officers from Franklin, Ogdensburg and Hamburg.

Kelly Ann Hart, the campaign manager for Bergen County’s Murray Sabrin, a Ramapo College finance professor who’s run four times for statewide office, wrote to Fanale:

“It’s your job to guide your constituency = YOU are second to them. Isn’t that exactly what we preach? Your disrespect for the fallen is disturbing, to say the least. I’m not talking about your First Amendment [rights] – say it all you want. There are consequences.”

Several residents in his town have demanded that Fanale be barred from voting on police matters. A retired police officer called the councilman’s comments “discriminatory and prejudiced.”

Polen questioned how Fanale could cast a fair vote given his stated bias.

“People in his position are supposed to have the best interests of their township or borough or city at heart,” Polen told CLIFFVIEW PILOT. “How can he fairly do that with an open mind when this is how he feels?”

“There are a lot of good officers out there, risking their lives and doing their jobs every day. And whenever there are shots fired, they’re running toward it,” he added. “Through his words, Fanale is putting officers at risk by basically telling the public not to trust them.

“And he doesn’t seem to care at all about our concerns.”

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How do YOU feel about this? Go to the CVP Facebook page and tell us: Cliffview Pilot FACEBOOKPAGE

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OR CONTACT:

Jerry DeMarco
Publisher/Editor
CLIFFVIEWPILOT.COM
GerardJDeMarco@gmail.com

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