Tribute To Law Enforcement In Salina Removed; Residents Look For New Idea

Friday, August 7th 2020, 6:33 pm
By: News On 6, Emory Bryan

TULSA, Okla. -

The people of Salina have no problem showing support for law and order so when it came time to honor the police, the idea was to paint a thin blue stripe right down the middle of the main drag.

Highway 20 carries most of the traffic through Salina and it passes in front of City Hall and the police station, which is why Tena Pritchett thought it was the perfect place to honor police.

"It wasn't jump out at you, in your face, four-foot letters. It was a thin blue line down the middle," said Pritchett

Volunteers did the work two weeks ago; a striping company repainted the yellow stripes, the police were happy with the recognition, and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation even signed off on the display.

"We had permission, ODOT had given us permission," said Pritchett

But this week ODOT showed up and painted over the blue line and returned later to and paint new stripes. An ODOT spokesperson said that initial approval was a mistake and they had to re-stripe because the blue line was a safety hazard.

"Got painted over, don't understand that. Thought they had all the approvals, but now we've got to find a different way to support them," said Salina Resident Chris Crosby.

On the block in front of the police station, the highway is black under the yellow, and the rest of the town just has fresh new stripes. Some people in town thought ODOT should have fixed other problems with the highway first.

Pritchett says she's not upset and instead see this as a new challenge.

"We like to honor people, that's what we're going to do," she said.

Her first idea is to add "Back the Blue" flags to the many poles in town that already have American flags.