Saskatoon Police Service report says Thin Blue Line patches not allowed on uniforms

·2 min read
Saskatoon police have written a report saying that officers are not allowed to wear Thin Blue Line patches on their uniforms. (Amazon - image credit)
Saskatoon police have written a report saying that officers are not allowed to wear Thin Blue Line patches on their uniforms. (Amazon - image credit)

A report going to Saskatoon's Board of Police Commissioners says controversial patches worn by some police officers are not authorized to be worn on uniforms.

In January, the city's police board asked the Saskatoon Police Service to write a report on Thin Blue Line patches.

According to Saskatoon police, the patch originally symbolized the courage of police officers in the line of duty. However, the report notes that after the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States, the symbol became co-opted by extremist groups.

"The high-jacking of these symbols for use other than their intended purpose is offensive to every citizen who knows their true meaning," read the report.

Saskatoon police noted that neither Chief Troy Cooper nor the Saskatchewan Police Commission has given permission for the patches to be used on uniforms.

"Only symbols expressly permitted by Saskatoon Police Policy or the regulations of The Municipal Police Clothing and Rank Regulations are authorized to be on the uniform of the Saskatoon Police Service," read the report.

"The Thin Blue Line patch is not one of those symbols permitted to be on the uniform."

The issue was brought up after a local man, Graham MacDonald, noticed the patches being worn by several patrol officers last year and began wondering if the badges were officially allowed on uniforms.

He said he's happy with how Saskatoon police are handling the issue.

"The patches represent some ideals that I don't actually think are representative of what the police want to be portraying," he said.

"Mainly the idea that the police are somehow a distinct and separate group from the rest of the community."

The Thin Blue Line patches have been disallowed in the past by other police forces. In March, the Calgary Police Commission decided that officers would not be allowed to wear the patches.

As well, the RCMP sent a memo out to officers in 2020, stating that the badges could not be worn on uniforms.

The Saskatoon Police Association, which represents officers, was not immediately available for comment.

The report will be talked about at the Board of Police Commissioners meeting on Thursday.

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