MELROSE — The following is a statement from Melrose Police Chief Michael L. Lyle regarding the wording of a roadway electronic message sign in Melrose:
“Earlier today, I was made aware by Mayor Paul A. Brodeur of unfortunate and improper wording on a roadway electronic messaging sign on Main Street. A traffic officer was recently ordered to update the message from a reminder about fireworks being illegal to a more general traffic safety message. The message was updated with a reminder about obeying the speed limit, and the message ended with ‘the safety of all lives matter.’
“I am aware that the phrase ‘all lives matter’ is commonly used as a misguided counter to the Black Lives Matter movement. The sign was immediately changed and at the request of the Mayor, I launched an investigation, which is ongoing.
“The findings of the investigation will be made public. Preliminarily, the officer reported to me that he did not post the message with either malicious or political intent. The officer, by his account, was trying to type a traffic safety message in the limited space offered by the electronic sign and did not realize the totality or impact of the words he had posted. Nonetheless, I will conduct a full and thorough investigation.
“On behalf of the Melrose Police Department, I sincerely apologize to our residents and anyone who drove past the sign today.
“I will be communicating about this matter to all officers at roll call, and, effective immediately, I am ordering that any roadway messages and any messaging on electronic signage must be approved by my office prior to going live.”