Local residents may have seen a new addition to the downtown area in the form of a thin blue line around the Rolla Police Department. This line was placed in commemoration of the lives of fallen officers in the course of duty as well as their continued efforts to make the county a safe place to live.

Local residents may have seen a new addition to the downtown area in the form of a thin blue line around the Rolla Police Department. This line was placed in commemoration of the lives of fallen officers in the course of duty as well as their continued efforts to make the county a safe place to live.
Rolla Mayor Lou Magdits gave a proclamation this past Monday, May 15, explaining how this symbol came to be and what it represents for local law enforcement.

“The Thin Blue Line is a symbol used by law enforcement to commemorate fallen law enforcement officers and to show support for the law enforcement community,” Mayor Magdits said. He explained in a press release how the term originated in a 1988 documentary called “The Thin Blue Line,” about the murder of a Dallas, TX police officer. Recently, the thin blue line has appeared on street markings or curbs around the country to demonstrate public support.

The line represents the line law enforcement officers walk between citizen safety and criminal activity, and the barrier they form between order and chaos.

“The Rolla community has always valued its public safety services—police, fire and the military. In an era of heightened sensitivity it is important that the professionals who serve and protect us feel appreciated,” said Mayor Magdits.

He said it was Communications Chief Stacey Smith who brought the idea of painting the line here in Rolla; but Smith said it was the Mayor and City Council who ran with the idea.

“I truly appreciate all of the support that the city officials and the Rolla community give to our law enforcement personnel,” said Smith. She said she appreciates the crew from the street department and their hard work getting the line painted in time for National Police Week.

Mayor Magdits said he would like to see the line be a permanent installation around the police station, and that it serves as a daily reminder to both law enforcement and the civilian community. To law enforcement, it is a symbol of what is expected of them every day when they put on their badge. To the community, it serves to remind them of everything the officers and staff encounter in the course of their jobs.

“The members of the RPD and other law enforcement agencies recognize their duty to serve the people of their community by protecting them against violence and disorder, and by protecting the innocent against deception and the weak against oppression,” said Magdits in his proclamation.
“It is important to take the opportunity to stand emphatically with our law enforcement community and to express our gratitude.”

To stand emphatically with the law enforcement community, Mayor Magdits explained, is to provide the recognition they deserve for continuing to serve in a position that requires so much courage.

Mayor Magdits said that in other cities, the relationship between law enforcement and the rest of the community can be tense, but here in Rolla there is a strong connection between the two. “The community genuinely appreciates their officers, and every member of law enforcement cares for the residents they are sworn to protect,” he added.

The line itself does not establish any specific traffic pattern or lane, but it reminds law enforcement individuals and residents alike of the hard work our officers do every day.