The Four Freedoms Project will donate four prints of artist Norman Rockwell's famous paintings depicting the Four Freedoms outlined in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's speech as World War II was being waged in 1941.
"Freedom of Speech" already hangs from the wall inside the Council Chambers of Monroe Town Hall and "Freedom of Worship" is displayed at Edith Wheeler Memorial Library. This leaves "Freedom from Want" and "Freedom from Fear".
Steve Ballok and Diane Mellen, who are heading the project, want to donate "Freedom from Fear" to the Monroe Police Department and each print comes with a donation along the painting's theme. For instance, a collection of books on world religions was given to the library as part of its Four Freedoms Project donation.
In light of the tragic school shooting in Sandy Hook, Monroe Police Chief John Salvatore recently told the Police Commission that Ballok and Mellen asked him if police would consider a firearms safety training or something along those lines to go with their print.
Salvatore said a gun buy back program was brought up, but that he would rather do something along the lines of gun safety. Though Monroe does not have a buy back program, Salvatore said police accept guns people want to turn in.
Of a gun safety program, Salvatore said, "It's worth maybe assigning a couple officers to research it as a committee. Any program has to recognize both sides, those who are responsible and support the Second Amendment and those who want to have some control. There has to be a balance."
One possible program could involve gun safety locks.
When explaining why the Four Freedoms Project chose the police department to receive a print of Rockwell's "Freedom from Fear", Ballok said, "The police department is the agency that keeps us safe in our homes and that painting says that in a warm inviting way."