Updated: 10/10/2013 6:02 PM
Created: 10/10/2013 6:41 AM WHEC.com
By: Berkeley Brean
News10NBC is taking their fight to honor the fallen to the top level of state government. The Badge of Honor Association is trying to recognize local sheriff's deputies killed in the line of duty and they have what they believe is a simple request. They want to put signs honoring the deputies along the road where they lost their life. But for two years, the state has told them no. The law doesn't allow it. But since News10NBC started exposing the story in September, things are starting to change.
There was no controversy Thursday at the unveiling of two memorial signs outside the county jail where two of the deputies were killed. The problem is the sign they want on state roads. Everyone News10NBC has talked to, including Lt. Governor Bob Duffy, say they should be allowed to go up.
The signs uncovered Thursday honor two jail deputies killed on duty. Corporal Catherine Crawford and Seregeant Peter Rotolo. Kim Rotolo is Peter's daughter.
Kim Rotolo said, “It means a great deal that he won't be forgotten and that there will be a place for our children and their children to come.”
But signs for seven other deputies cannot go up because they died on a state road and the New York State Transportation Department won't allow them. Justin Collins runs the Badge of Honor Association.
Justin Collins, Badge of Honor Association, said, “They will be put in the spot where these deputies made their ultimate sacrifice. We will not stop. This will be done. The fight has just begun.”
News10NBC took their fight to the lieutenant governor. Lt. Governor Bob Duffy is sympathetic and says there can be compromise.
Lt. Governor Bob Duffy said, “It might not be exactly what the groups wants or what DOT wants, but I believe in trying to work towards a win, win.”
News10NBC's Berkeley Brean asked, “But you look at our state roads and they're full of signs. Even “Monroe County in Bloom”. All kinds of signs. So what's to prevent these signs from going up?”
Lt. Governor Duffy said, “In terms of issues of signage and what DOT looks at as being impediments, I just believe we can work that out.”
The state law only allows signs that direct traffic. The concern is that the signs will distract drivers. But would these signs distract you?
Rotolo said, “We need to remember those men and women who did pay the ultimate price. It's for your safety. My safety. I think they should be remembered.”
Duffy is going to talk to Joan McDonald, Commissioner of the New York Department of Transportation. She is from Canandaigua. News10NBC talked with a contact at the DOT to see if there is any change in their stance. The answer was no. But there could be a change in the law.