Jade Markus, CBC, March 30, 2022
Calgary police will no longer be allowed to wear thin blue line patches on their uniforms, the Calgary Police Commission decided Wednesday.
The decision takes effect Thursday and means that on-duty police will not be permitted to wear Canadian flag patches with a thin blue line through them.
The symbol means different things to different people, said Amtul Siddiqui, vice-chair, Calgary Police Commission.
“To members of the police service — to some of them — it’s a way to honour the fallen, and we understand that completely and to represent the familyhood of policing,” she said.
“But we also know that to some people, the symbol actually does represent something evil and horrible.”
The commission said the thin blue line has been featured prominently in many high-profile protests that espoused white nationalist or racist views, and has been prominently displayed at counter-protests against the Black Lives Matter movement.
Calgary Police Chief Mark Neufeld had previously defended thin blue line patches, while admitting the symbol has racist connotations.
On Wednesday in a press release he said: “I know how much the thin blue line patch means to the members of the Calgary Police Service and their families.”
“While I understand there has been valid community concern over the use of the patch and its roots in colonialism and its more recent co-opting by white supremacy organizations, I can confidently say that not a single member who put that patch on their uniform meant anything other than to show pride in their profession, and to honour the fallen.”