Deadline arrives for Calgary Police Service members to remove ‘thin blue line’ patch

The ‘thin blue line’ patch has been a hot-button issue for the Calgary Police Commission (CPC) and the Calgary Police Association (CPA) for months and the deadline has now arrived for its removal from uniforms.

After initially pushing back against the CPC, the CPA ‘reluctantly’ directed its members last week to remove the patches from their street uniforms to comply with the commission’s directive.

The deadline for removing the ‘thin blue line’ patch, with the exception of dress uniforms, is end of day Tuesday.

“After consultation with our members and several meetings with the CPS executive and commission, we are encouraging members to remove the patches from their uniforms,” read a recent email from Calgary Police Association president John Orr.

“We look forward to continued dialogue with the (Calgary Police Commission) and CPS in relation to this issue, as well as many others.”

The commission says the decision to ban the symbol from uniforms is based on its involvement in Black Lives Matter counter-protests and its contentious history in “division, colonialism and racism.”

However, the union says the patch has been misused and misrepresented.

The CPA says the symbol honours those who have fallen in the line of duty, and supports those who continue to serve.

The commission initially directed officers to remove the patches by the end of March, but members pushed back, leading to CPS Chief Mark Neufeld asking to put the issue on hold to allow for a more thorough discussion.

There is no word on what discipline would result from continuing to wear the patch.

The Calgary Police Commission, a 12-member body made up of 10 civilians and two city councillors, provides direction to CPS.

With files from CTV News’ Dave Dormer.

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