Officer serves a ‘critical role’

To the editor,

I recently learned that Officer Rocco Navarro, traffic specialist, is being reassigned to regular patrol duty. This is no fault of the city or interim police chief, but a consequence of shortage. Although I understand, I want to highlight the work of Officer Navarro on the Bike/Ped Committee and plead for a different solution.

First, he has attended every meeting, supplied important data, contributed significant information and shown interest in our work. He has offered perspective, creative ideas and responses to multiple problems, resulting in better signs near schools, RFBs in critical areas, traffic calming measures and dedication to the highest call issue in any city: traffic.

Our hope is that the shortage of police officers will be remedied during a time when pursuing police work is at a low. I believe our police department is exemplary and Rocco Navarro is no exception. Given his own injury from a distracted driver, his work has shown a true understanding and a dedicated practice to this work. He is diligent and determined to keep our roads and public spaces safe for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

Why not keep Officer Navarro as traffic specialist and use him for back up calls when necessary? Maybe offer a time definite for his return to this post — no longer than three months .The loss of him in this position will result in a roll back of progress we have made involving traffic.

I, personally, will miss Rocco immensely–his contributions, his attention to detail, and his obvious knowledge of the issues. These sentiments are shared by our entire committee. Please consider this alternative. This is not fluff. Rocco serves a critical role.

I urge your support for Rocco Navarro and reinstatement of this position.

Rosemarie De Angelis

South Portland

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