Roadside Memorial Protection - My9 New Jersey

Roadside Memorial Protection

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Mount Arlington, New Jersey (MY9NJ) - After Mount Arlington Officer Joe Wargo was killed in the line of duty by a drunk driver on Route I-80, a memorial was erected for him by friends and family on the side of the roadway.

Mount Arlington Police Chief Keith Licata remembers Wargo as a great guy. “He was a big guy with a heart of gold. It was so important for us to let everybody show what he meant to the community and the police department. And it’s very important for his family to see that,” he said.

There’s a memorial to Joe near the scene of the accident tended to by family and friends, like EMT Judy Shoudy. The issue is that these memorials are not official and not protected. “After these memorials are built or they allow us to build them, there’s some spots you may not be allowed to be put up, and we’re hoping that they will do that if there’s a fallen officer, EMS, or firefighter killed in the line of duty on a New Jersey roadways. To honor them after their passing,” she said.

Shoudy says the most important thing is for the memorials to be protected. Since the memorial is on state territory, the Department of Transportation can remove any memorial at any time.

A bill sponsored by Assemblyman Anthony Bucco is circulating to protect these.

A common complaint about memorials is that since they’re not official, people can leave whatever they want on the side of the road. This bill is trying to help stop that from happening.

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