By PoliceOne Staff

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. — A Rhode Island police union is criticizing the removal of a memorial commemorating fallen officers.

The Middletown Town Council initially planned to repair the memorial but voted on Monday to remove it instead of spending $41,000 to repair it, WJAR reports. Detective Michael Kravchuk, president of the Middletown Police Officers Union, said it’s “disheartening” the council voted to remove the memorial.

“Given the current climate regarding attacks on police officers in our nation, it’s saddening they would choose to remove a memorial dedicated to the service and sacrifice of law enforcement officers, including the ultimate sacrifice made by two Middletown residents,” Kravchuk said.

The union also said a council member referred to the memorial as a “doormat,” which the union said is “distasteful and completely disrespectful.”

Middletown council votes to remove walkway officers memorial outside police station rather than pay $41k to repair it. Union is upset. @ 6

— Brian Crandall (@nbc10_brian) April 3, 2018

The memorial statue has been cordoned off for some time. The town has also been sued after someone slipped on it several years ago.

Councilwoman M. Theresa Santos the removal of the statue has nothing to do with the council’s support for the town’s police and its officers, according to the Newport Daily News.

Councilwoman Barbara VonVillas, the lone council member who voted against the memorial’s removal, questioned her colleagues’ motives and support for police.

“In my opinion, this council sends mixed messages,” VonVillas said.

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