UNION — Law enforcement personnel are sometimes referred to as “the thin blue line” standing between the law-abiding and the law-breaking and some residents of Neal Shoals Road are honoring them with a visual illustration of that name.
When you drive down Neal Shoals Road there’s a roughly mile-long stretch between Beulah Baptist Church and River Road where you will see 21 blue lines painted on the road. The blue lines were painted on the road by Wayne Wallace who says they are meant to honor law enforcement.
“I was in law enforcement in Los Angeles County and also in Arizona and then I moved into Child Protection Service in Arizona for 20 years,” Wallace said Thursday.
Wallace said his involvement in law enforcement and Child Protection Service gave him an understanding of how important law enforcement is to the well-being of society.
“You couldn’t sleep at night if law enforcement wasn’t out there,” Wallace said. “It would be anarchy.”
This understanding of the importance of law enforcement to the well-being of society, coupled with recent, often negative depictions of law enforcement in the media, inspired Wallace to do something to honor the men and women who enforce the law, fight crime, and protect the law-abiding and the innocent as well as honor their fellow first responders.
“There’s a lot of negativity toward law enforcement and other first responders, some of it justified, but 99 percent of the time they are doing what we want them to do,” Wallace said.
With that in mind, Wallace said he decided to paint a blue line on the road in front of his house as a way of honoring the “thin blue line” of law enforcement personnel who maintain law and order in society. He then began going to his neighbors and asking them if he could paint a blue line in front of their homes and in all instances he received a positive response.
“I went door to door asking them and they all said yes, they (law enforcement) need to be appreciated,” Wallace said.
Wallace said that since he painted that first line, he has painted a total of 21 blue lines, most of them in front of residential homes, but also in front of Beulah Baptist Church and the Beulah Hunt Club. He said that in one case a property owner gave him permission to paint the lines in front of each of his three properties along Neal Shoals Road.
In addition to his desire to honor law enforcement and first responders, Wallace’s blue line project is also part of his service as a member of the Union Rotary Club. The club encourages its members to carry our service projects in their lines of expertise and Wallace’s blue line honoring of law enforcement and other first responders is his service project.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.