I wish I had a chance to meet Jacob Raposa of Somerset.

There isn’t a person in town that doesn’t know the upstanding citizen that Jacob was. I got a chance to speak with Somerset Constable David Balcius about Jacob’s legacy and Balcius’s touching plan to create a top-notch memorial for "Bike 1."

“If you saw Jacob flying down County Street, you know he was responding to a call,” Balcius said. He shared with me how Raposa was the unofficial guardian of the area with a scanner in one hand and his bike handle in the other. “He reported to every accident,” Balcius said. "He rode around on his bike and that’s what he liked to do. That’s what made him happy."

Balcius was appreciative of Bike 1 and Raposa’s dedication to the town. He was upset to find Raposa’s memorial on the corner of County Street and Buffinton Street so tarnished and run down.

“It looks sad altogether,” Balcuis said. “It’s just rotting away chained to a light pole. This kid deserves a whole lot better.”

Balcius is a mechanic and fabricator in town, and came up with a genius idea that would put his trade to good use.

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His goal is to create a real memorial that can withstand the test of time and be a shining symbol of Raposa, who made a loving impact on the community. There is some greenery across the intersection that Balcius has his eyes on for this memorial’s home and plans to fund this project on his own. He is even in communication with Raposa’s sister in hopes of using his original bike in the memorial.

This idea is in its early stages as Balcius continues to try and contact the correct authorities in town to make it a reality. The way that Balcius spoke about Raposa and the stories that I’ve seen about Bike 1 make me want to see this heartfelt idea come to life.

Let’s spread the word about Balcius’s project, get this information in the right hands, and build a memorial that will keep Jacob Raposa’s spirit alive and well.

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