CPS allows officers to wear ‘thin blue line’ pins, which convey different message

Calgary police officials say pins, which are similar to a controversial patch that has racial undertones, will remain on uniforms because they have a different meaning to the service.

Last year, the Calgary Police Service ordered its officers to remove “thin blue line” patches from their uniforms because of the connection between the icons and certain dark aspects of law enforcement’s history.

Officers and family members said the patch was “to honour the fallen,” but the Calgary Police Commission (CPC) decided the patches are tied too closely to “division, colonialism and racism” to be worn.

However, a “thin blue line” pin has no such undertones, the commission says, and is approved for use by officers.

Photos of an officer wearing one of the pins were shared on social media earlier this week, sparking debate over the items.

In a statement to CTV News, the CPS says the pins were approved in 2016 and denotes length of service in front-line policing.

Officials say the pins possess a different design than the controversial patches as well.

“The approved patrol pin does include a thin blue line, but in a design that predates and differs from the ‘thin blue line’ patch that became a point of contention for community members who had seen that particular patch co-opted by hate organizations in both the U.S. and Canada,” officials said in a statement.

It confirmed that all unauthorized insignias, including the “thin blue line” patch, were ordered to be removed by May 31, 2022.

As of this week, CPS says the patch is no longer worn by any of its officers.

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