The Calgary Police Service has endured its fair share of negative attention lately, from politically and ideological motivated escalation against peaceful protesters to high profile pastor arrests that drew international attention an ire to such an extent that several U.S. senators have urged that Canada be added to religious persecution watch lists.
The rule-setters at the Calgary Police Commission, along with Police Chief Mark Neufeld are now targeting officers' use of the 'thin blue line' symbol on uniforms. The symbol shows a black-and-grey Canadian flag with a blue line cutting across, and while it was never approved for wear, officers were not told to remove the patches during the Commissions' consultations on its permissibility.
You can read the Calgary Police Commission's full statement on the City of Calgary's website by clicking here.
The thin blue line is a symbol that officers and their supporters wear to make their appreciation for police who have died in the line of duty known and as a show of solidarity with active law enforcement and the role they serve in society. The blue signifies the blue uniforms worn by police, and the line represent the role of police in maintaining law and order and keeping chaos at bay. The term originates from an 1854 Crimean War event in which a few hundred British cavalry donning red uniforms were forced to spread out and thin their ranks over a wide area in order to keep some 2,500 Russian soldiers from advancing, the event was referred to as “the thin red line”.
The Calgary Police Commission argues that the use of the thin blue line has taken on racist connotations and been employed by right-wing groups at protests and is therefore too insensitive, but this narrative does not hold much weight outside of the woke progressive circles promoting it.
But the Calgary Police Association’s president John Orr has stated that officers in Calgary reject this narrative entirely and will defiantly continue to wear the thin blue line as a symbol of respect for fallen colleagues and as a symbol of fellowship and support.
Former Constable Brian Denison, who resigned from the Calgary Police Service over COVID-19 restriction enforcement and vaccine mandates, served in law enforcement for many years. He is an ardent supporter of police and remains in touch with many of his former fellow officers. I joined Brian for an insider's look at the meaning of the thin blue line, and to discuss the troubling politicized enforcement and woke activism of the Calgary police.
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