Montreal police axe 'thin blue line' badge in favour of homemade alternative

Chief Fady Dagher also said the badge was a way for officers to commemorate those who have been killed on the job, without alienating members of the community.

Montreal police axe 'thin blue line' badge in favour of homemade alternative
Montreal police
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The Montreal police (SPVM) have announced officers will be banned from wearing the thin blue line badge and instead will have their own crest.

The new emblem features two beavers and a castle, crown, and knight with the words "fallen but not forgotten" written in French.

The ban will go into effect after the summer.

The measure is being taken to try to change the public image of the police and build trust with the population. SPVM Chief Fady Dagher also said that the badge was a way for officers to commemorate those who have been killed on the job, without alienating members of the community.

The thin blue line is a symbol used to represent police members as the "thin blue line" between law and order and chaos.

The symbol became more prominently used after the death of George Floyd.

"The thin blue line badge was a critical topic in discussions on the new dress and hold procedure," the SPVM said in a release on Wednesday, reports CTV News. "Through the many discussions Director [Fady] Dagher has had with his officers, it has become clear that it is essential for them to be able to wear a badge that allows them to honour the memory of their fallen brothers and sisters."

According to the "Thin Blue Line Canada" website, the patches are intended to "commemorate fallen law enforcement officers."

The symbol has become controversial in recent years, as anti-police sentiment climbed during the COVID-19 pandemic culminating in the "Defund the Police" movement following the death of U.S. man George Floyd at the hands of police in the summer of 2020. The thin blue line was also seen on flags or other paraphernalia worn by rioters at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Incidents like these have been pounced upon by anarchists and other radical groups looking to push an anti-police narrative.

"The SPVM's management was keen to make its procedure more flexible and adapt it to 2024, at a time when it advocates openness and inclusion among its members," the release continues. "It was also important to remind police officers, through this modernized procedure, that their duty of impartiality in interventions should also be transposed to their dress and physical appearance, that they should not display bias for one cause more than another."

It is the first update to the SPVM's dress code since 2005.

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