Police and our churches

| 15 Mar 2012 | 12:27

    I was very surprised to see the topic "Police patrols at our churches" as a discussion item, for the March 7 town council meeting. Three churches, have had such patrols with special officers at Sunday services and a fourth has requested them.

    My family lived next to St. Joseph's for many years and I remember such patrols back to the 1960s for Sunday services. The reason being a small parking lot, which resulted in cars parking on both sides of Germantown Road past our home, up a dirt road next to us, down part of Sawmill Road, and at times, even to the ballfield. Thus, many families had to walk along the sides of the road to the church.

    The two other churches are Queen of Peace and the West Milford Presbyterian Church. They may have bigger lots, but there are still parking and walking problems as both are on very busy roads. The other houses of worship, such as Green Pond Bible Chapel, Echo Lake Baptist, Methodist and the Jewish Community Center, just to name a few, all have sufficient parking.

    This is far from being a religious issue and let none of us, make this into one. Have we not already read and heard of too much religious hatred in the news lately? This is a safety factor, nothing more. Our police officers are not protecting any religious structures, which was actually necessary, very recently, after the awful fire bombings at several synagogues in other towns. Our officers are protecting us, the taxpaying residents of this town, by controlling traffic so all will be able to have safe passage as they come and go to their own chosen house of worship.

    In these times, none of us should be looking to divide our community with a "non-issue" such as this, but to do much more to unite us and work together to find solutions for the real problems which need to be resolved. Church patrols at Sunday services is far from being one of them.

    Eleanor Monahan West Milford