• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

RCMP officers told not to wear symbol depicting ‘thin blue line’

shawn5o

Full Member
Reaction score
4
Points
230
I didn't know Cdn police had such a symbol


RCMP officers told not to wear symbol depicting ‘thin blue line’
DQ
By Douglas QuanVancouver Bureau
Sat., Oct. 10, 2020timer3 min. read

RCMP members across the country have been told in a memo they are no longer to wear or display symbols depicting a “subdued” Canadian flag with a blue stripe through it while on duty.

The “thin blue line” symbol, which has been used for years by police officers as a sign of solidarity and by their families to show pride, has come under growing scrutiny by critics calling for major police reform. Some say such symbols create an us-versus-them mentality and do not help foster trust in communities police are meant to serve.

Media reports from the United States to Australia indicate there have been concerns far-right groups and opponents of the Black Lives Matter movement have co-opted the symbol, as well.

“The note came out as a concern that it was appearing more often in images of on-duty Mounties,” RCMP spokesman Dan Brien told the Star on Friday night. “In some parts of the country, some of the cars actually have the sticker on them as well.”

While the symbol has been used to represent “membership or support for the police family” for years, “I acknowledge there are multiple interpretations of the symbol,” Brien said.

The memo was distributed to members Friday by Al McCambridge, the RCMP’s corps sergeant major in Ottawa who is responsible for dress, deportment, ceremonial protocols and RCMP traditions.

“In recent months, police services and police officers have been facing tremendous pressure. We have lost colleagues in tragic circumstances, and we have been a focal point in difficult public conversations about the role of police in our society. In these circumstances, it is natural to want to show support to each other and our colleagues across the law enforcement community,” the memo reads.

“The use of symbols, such as the subdued flag with a blue bar, has become widespread in North America as a sign of solidarity and support for police. While this may be common outside of a work setting, it is not an approved symbol and is not to be worn on our uniform or displayed on other equipment such as vehicles.”
https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2020/10/09/rcmp-officers-told-not-to-wear-symbol-depicting-thin-blue-line.html
 

Kat Stevens

Army.ca Fixture
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
100
Points
530
I really don't think it's a little patch of a flag with a line through it that perpetuates the "us vs them" mentality. I think it's professional looters, burners, and cop killers that do that. Oh, and the NFL, NBA, MLB and even the NHL are no help.
 

Jarnhamar

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
204
Points
680
Target Up said:
I really don't think it's a little patch of a flag with a line through it that perpetuates the "us vs them" mentality. I think it's professional looters, burners, and cop killers that do that. Oh, and the NFL, NBA, MLB and even the NHL are no help.

Don't forget the celebrities making a scene out of donating money to bail out looters and rioters - from their walled compounds patrolled 24/7 by armed guards.
 

reveng

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
23
Points
380
Jarnhamar said:
Don't forget the celebrities making a scene out of donating money to bail out looters and rioters - from their walled compounds patrolled 24/7 by armed guards.

Hollywood and pro sports are what we really should focus on defunding. Basically useless, and only serve as a distraction for the masses.
 

brihard

Army.ca Fixture
Mentor
Reaction score
290
Points
830
With everything going on in the police world generally and the RCMP specifically these days, this is a stupid fight for management to have picked. I’ve seen nothing so far but mockery and anger in reply.
 

Bruce Monkhouse

Army.ca Myth
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Reaction score
108
Points
780
Us vs them mentality.....yes, let's have cops and criminals on the same side,......because its 2020.
 

reveng

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
23
Points
380
Brihard said:
With everything going on in the police works generally and the RCMP specifically these days, this is a stupid fight for management to have picked. I’ve seen nothing so far but mockery and anger in reply.

Not sure about Canada, but it seems some of the vendors of TBL items in the US actually use the proceeds to help officers and families in need. Is there an equivalent of the the Thin Blue Line Foundation in Canada?
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Myth
Reaction score
427
Points
880
reveng said:
Not sure about Canada, but it seems some of the vendors of TBL items in the US actually use the proceeds to help officers and families in need. Is there an equivalent of the the Thin Blue Line Foundation in Canada?

It seems so https://www.thinblueline.ca/pages/about-us
 

lenaitch

Full Member
Reaction score
57
Points
330
shawn5o said:
I didn't know Cdn police had such a symbol


RCMP officers told not to wear symbol depicting ‘thin blue line’
DQ
By Douglas QuanVancouver Bureau
Sat., Oct. 10, 2020timer3 min. read

RCMP members across the country have been told in a memo they are no longer to wear or display symbols depicting a “subdued” Canadian flag with a blue stripe through it while on duty.

The “thin blue line” symbol, which has been used for years by police officers as a sign of solidarity and by their families to show pride, has come under growing scrutiny by critics calling for major police reform. Some say such symbols create an us-versus-them mentality and do not help foster trust in communities police are meant to serve.

Media reports from the United States to Australia indicate there have been concerns far-right groups and opponents of the Black Lives Matter movement have co-opted the symbol, as well.

“The note came out as a concern that it was appearing more often in images of on-duty Mounties,” RCMP spokesman Dan Brien told the Star on Friday night. “In some parts of the country, some of the cars actually have the sticker on them as well.”

While the symbol has been used to represent “membership or support for the police family” for years, “I acknowledge there are multiple interpretations of the symbol,” Brien said.

The memo was distributed to members Friday by Al McCambridge, the RCMP’s corps sergeant major in Ottawa who is responsible for dress, deportment, ceremonial protocols and RCMP traditions.

“In recent months, police services and police officers have been facing tremendous pressure. We have lost colleagues in tragic circumstances, and we have been a focal point in difficult public conversations about the role of police in our society. In these circumstances, it is natural to want to show support to each other and our colleagues across the law enforcement community,” the memo reads.

“The use of symbols, such as the subdued flag with a blue bar, has become widespread in North America as a sign of solidarity and support for police. While this may be common outside of a work setting, it is not an approved symbol and is not to be worn on our uniform or displayed on other equipment such as vehicles.”
https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2020/10/09/rcmp-officers-told-not-to-wear-symbol-depicting-thin-blue-line.html

Back in September a Toronto Police Officer was reported a facing discipline for wear a TBL patch.

https://globalnews.ca/news/7322616/punisher-skull-patch-toronto-police-uniform/

Earlier, in July, the OPP Association created some controversy by flying the TBL flag at their head office.  They said it was part of a fundraising campaign for fallen police officers but the whole issue has been eerily silent of late (their excuse that the old Canadian flag was worn stuck me as a bit weak - they are quite literally across the highway from the largest flag manufacturer in Canada).

https://barrie.ctvnews.ca/controversy-surrounds-a-flag-flying-at-the-oppa-barrie-building-1.5041121

The TBL Canada website says nothing about fundraising or supporting anyone - just selling swag.

I'm old school enough to feel that a police force gets to say what its members look like.  It's the image of the force, not the individual.

 

mariomike

Army.ca Legend
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
63
Points
630
lenaitch said:
I'm old school enough to feel that a police force gets to say what its members look like.  It's the image of the force, not the individual.

We may be in the minority. But, I agree.
 

Haggis

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
76
Points
530
lenaitch said:
I'm old school enough to feel that a police force gets to say what its members look like.  It's the image of the force, not the individual.

My agency has come out prohibiting TBL masks locally, but not flags which many of us still have on our body armour. I don't see why one and not the other is verboten.
 

brihard

Army.ca Fixture
Mentor
Reaction score
290
Points
830
Haggis said:
My agency has come out prohibiting TBL masks locally, but not flags which many of us still have on our body armour. I don't see why one and not the other is verboten.

I suspect the result of this will be more members wearing them than before.
 

RedFive

New Member
Reaction score
8
Points
130
Brihard said:
I suspect the result of this will be more members wearing them than before.

I can say that in my area, the Membership is pissed and blue line flags are being stuck to just about any available piece of velcro.

Personally, I'm still firmly in the "boots shall be polished, faces will be shaved, hair will be neat and body armour worn under the duty shirt" camp. However, I understand why that makes me a dinosaur, and out of touch with modern developments in duty gear. I also understand that the vast majority of stuff I'm given to carry can ride in the car until needed. I'm very junior in service and one of the only people in my peer group who believe in this/put it into action. Most of my colleagues look like brand new Pte and Tpr reservists with so much crap hanging off their body armour you might mistake them for ERT.

All that being said, my tourniquet pouch attached to the bottom of the drop leg for my CEW used to sport the camp flag of my reserve Regiment. For the foreseeable future, it will now carry a thin blue line patch.
 

lenaitch

Full Member
Reaction score
57
Points
330
RedFive said:
I can say that in my area, the Membership is pissed and blue line flags are being stuck to just about any available piece of velcro.

Personally, I'm still firmly in the "boots shall be polished, faces will be shaved, hair will be neat and body armour worn under the duty shirt" camp. However, I understand why that makes me a dinosaur, and out of touch with modern developments in duty gear. I also understand that the vast majority of stuff I'm given to carry can ride in the car until needed. I'm very junior in service and one of the only people in my peer group who believe in this/put it into action. Most of my colleagues look like brand new Pte and Tpr reservists with so much crap hanging off their body armour you might mistake them for ERT.

All that being said, my tourniquet pouch attached to the bottom of the drop leg for my CEW used to sport the camp flag of my reserve Regiment. For the foreseeable future, it will now carry a thin blue line patch.

I am (was) also in the 'traditionalist' camp, but recognize that the amount of kit members are required to carry dictates that it simply cannot fit on a duty belt.  Whether it all has to be carried vs. just being available is largely a result of risk adverse policy makers and activist members who apparently believe that they are at war with the public.  My former force regularly fends off demands for things like bloused pants and ceramic plates.

When I was still working, there was an ongoing debate about whether ex-CAF members should be able to wear CAF badges, particularly jump wings, on their police uniform.  I get that they may be proud of them, but felt there is no nexus to their current uniform.  Sanctioned honours and awards - absolutely.  I lost track where it ended up, if resolved.

It creates a bit of a dichotomy.  If you are a rules follower, and your department comes out with a no TBL patch policy, what are you going to do?
 

reveng

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
23
Points
380
Anyone know where the push back against TBL items is coming from in your respective agencies? Is it internal, or is there external political pressure being applied? Gotta love it when there are real organizational and operational issues to deal with, and yet the focus is on making sure you don't have a particular flag or patch displayed.

For any of you that are unionized, does that give you any leverage to "protest" these sort of directives? Or are you just going to put them up regardless of the consequences? Not like they can fire all of you!

Perhaps they should just authorize a standardized, subdued TBL patch for wear instead of alienating everyone?
 

RedFive

New Member
Reaction score
8
Points
130
I know full well the back blast generated by this, at least in the Federal police force, is generated by disdain for and anger at senior management. Hardly a day goes by they aren't in the news calling the membership systemically racist or sending our Force wide emails with silliness like banning the TBL flag before their political masters tell them to make it so. Only to come back and encourage pink, orange and other shirts for certain awareness days.

Meanwhile issued kit from the 25 year old jam o matic pistols they have run out of spare parts for to the cargo pants that make CADPAT pants look like skinny jeans, expired body armour that is a lower ballistic rating than issued by other agencies, massive staffing issues, especially in small Detachments, the list goes on. The new union has a massive task ahead of it calling out the nickle and dimeing of the RCMP into the Walmart of policing. Look at RCMP pay against any other major Police agency in Canada.

And the whole discussion about how the RCMP should get out of contract Policing...

I could go on but I'm on days off and don't need to think about this mess any more than I already do.
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Myth
Reaction score
427
Points
880
RedFive said:
Meanwhile issued kit from the 25 year old jam o matic pistols they have run out of spare parts for to the cargo pants that make CADPAT pants look like skinny jeans, expired body armour that is a lower ballistic rating than issued by other agencies, massive staffing issues, especially in small Detachments, the list goes on. The new union has a massive task ahead of it calling out the nickle and dimeing of the RCMP into the Walmart of policing. Look at RCMP pay against any other major Police agency in Canada.

What's wrong with the pistols? I had no idea they were lemons....

That's one of the reasons I used to like a 'wheel gun' - 6 shots guaranteed.
 

Navy_Pete

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
138
Points
680
lenaitch said:
I'm old school enough to feel that a police force gets to say what its members look like.  It's the image of the force, not the individual.

I would agree with this, and argue that the TBL has become political, and really antagonistic in the US as people supporting TBL while protesting BLM.  I would probably argue that they aren't mutually exclusive, but not really here nor there. Surprised there isn't a blanket ban on additional non-issued patches in general TBH. When BLM and IdlenoMore activists are asking that they are treated the same as white people by the justice system, that seems like a pretty reasonable ask.  Personally I would see it as an aggressive response from an individual that has missed the point, as the TBL has become an oppositional position to take to counter BLM, and it's being used to justify frankly criminal BS like running over protestors.

Plus it's also redundant. Of course an RCMP officer will support police/policing in general, but they have a union to act as their public spokesman, and shouldn't be doing it as part of their uniform. I don't see it as any different then CAF members being restricted from making political statements in public. If you want to wear political pieces of flair at work, go get a different job.
 

reveng

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
23
Points
380
daftandbarmy said:
What's wrong with the pistols? I had no idea they were lemons....

That's one of the reasons I used to like a 'wheel gun' - 6 shots guaranteed.

Maybe R5 is referring to the S&W that most used to carry? If they are still using that, I can see why maybe he doesn't feel super appreciated by management.  ;D
 

mariomike

Army.ca Legend
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
63
Points
630
lenaitch said:
When I was still working, there was an ongoing debate about whether ex-CAF members should be able to wear CAF badges, particularly jump wings, on their police uniform.  I get that they may be proud of them, but felt there is no nexus to their current uniform.  Sanctioned honours and awards - absolutely.  I lost track where it ended up, if resolved.

Opposite situation in the US. eg: NYC restricts their 38,000+ police officers, 11,000 firefighters and 4,000 paramedics to wearing only departmental medals, ribbons, citations etc. awarded by the City on their Departmental uniforms.

ie: Non-departmental medals, ribbons, patches etc. ( eg: military ) are not worn on City uniforms.

Not to suggest one way is better, or worse, for doing the same jobs. Just different.



lenaitch said:
If you are a rules follower, and your department comes out with a no TBL patch policy, what are you going to do?

Our department - not police - would suspend you. Nothing the union could do about it.
 

Attachments

  • fdnymedal.jpg
    fdnymedal.jpg
    23.6 KB · Views: 43
Top