SUNY Brockport Bow to Pressure Dumping Thin Blue Line Flag
The police chief of SUNY Brockport today bowed to political pressure, stating that the University Police will no longer the Thin Blue Line flag that flies at thousands of police facilities, on tens of thousands of police vehicles and in part celebrates the lives of those lost in the line of duty as well as signifying the strength of togetherness that those in the policing profession associate with the flag.
The decision was made by Chief Daniel M. Vasile basing his decision on the fact that the flag’s identity has been stolen by some alleged hate groups, altering its message.
Chief Vasile stated in a letter to residents that concerns were raised after photos of the flag were posted to the agency’s social media accounts, with those in vocal opposition stating that the department by posting a Thin Blue Line flag was by default supporting white supremacy.
Instead of standing up for the flag and it’s the true meaning, Vasile instead chose to side with the vocal minority of social justice warriors and ban the use of the flag altogether. “The University Police stands firmly against hate,” wrote Vasile.
Read the full text of Vasile’s reasoning for banning the use of the Thin Blue Line flag here.
“Dear Brockport Community:
It has come to my attention that photos posted to the University Police Instagram account over the past several years have caused some concern.
The photos in question depict University Police officers with the “thin blue line” flag over the last year or two. This flag has a long and rich history. It is not associated with the “Blue Lives Matter” movement and was never intended to oppose the “Black Lives Matter” movement. It was adopted by law enforcement professionals in the 1950s to represent their courage and sacrifice. The thin blue line is used to symbolically represent how law enforcement officers separate the law-abiding portion of a community from others who intend chaos and destruction. Police Officers across this country, including in our department, have long proudly displayed this flag. To us, it’s both a symbol of pride and solidarity in our profession and a memorial to our colleagues who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
However, I do understand that the meaning of the “thin blue line” flag has sadly become confusing to many in recent months. The flag has been hijacked by white supremacists and other hate groups to create further divide in our communities. It saddens me to see this. We want there to be no confusion in our community: University Police stands firmly against hate. Therefore, University Police will no longer be using this flag in official College capacities.
University Police is fully committed to meeting the needs of our diverse community. We are actively working to make that happen. Our officers have gone through a multitude of trainings, including harassment and discrimination prevention, SafeZone, crisis intervention, mental health first aid, understanding accessibility and ableism, implicit bias, and fair and impartial policing. University Police is also actively participating in the 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge. We see this as a tremendous opportunity to not only continue to learn, but to engage in discussions around these important topics with our campus community. We hope you’ll join us.
Trainings alone won’t accomplish our goals. We need to build trust. To that end, we are in the process of establishing an advisory board — which is open to all faculty, staff and students. If you are interested in participating, please contact me.
Our work is far from over. But our commitment to doing this work is strong. University Police hopes you’ll join our efforts to Build a Better Brockport.
Chief Daniel M. Vasile”