Trish Bennett, Editor
CIRCLEVILLE – The Circleville Police Department recently unveiled a new design to represent the department based on the “thin blue line” showing support and solidarity for law enforcement.
The design has already been incorporated into a new cruiser and service pin and is represented on a flag raised Friday at the East Franklin Street station.
“It represents the thin blue line between order and chaos,” said Chief Shawn Baer, Circleville Police Department. “To us, it symbolizes that the chaos has to get through us before it touches the public.”
Baer said the idea for the new design was suggested and approved by officers at the department, which makes it even more meaningful for the men and women who serve the local community.
“We’re pleased this came through the rank and file,” he said.
A black flag with the blue line motif was raised at a small ceremony Friday afternoon in front of the police station and municipal court building. The ceremony also gave the department an opportunity to present its new canine cruiser, a Ford Interceptor SUV recently added to the fleet.
Baer said as current cruisers are taken out of service, they will be replaced by additional Interceptors with the blue line logo.
Friday also marked the introduction of the “thin blue line” on a service bar awarded to officers who complete field training at the Circleville Police Department. The pin is presented to officers who complete the training program and are ready to perform their duties on their own.
Officer Andrew Baitzel received his bar at the ceremony Friday. Baitzel, a Philadelphia native, joined the Circleville Police Department three months ago and completed his formal training within that time.
Baer said the training can take anywhere from three to six months based on the officer’s previous experience in law enforcement.
Baitzel was joined for the ceremony by family members including his wife, Jessica, and children, Jack and Annabelle.
The following is the meaning of the “thin blue line” provided by Sgt. Doug Anderson, Circleville Police Department:
The “Thin Blue Line” is a symbol known most by law enforcement officers and their families. For most, the symbol has multiple meanings all of which arise from the same concept. It has been seen as the familiar blue color of police uniforms along with the color blue being associated to law enforcement throughout the history of modern policing. The “Thin Blue Line” has also been referred to as a representation of the blue [law enforcement] being a thin line of separation between society and anarchy, good and evil, chaos and order. In today’s society, the “Thin Blue Line” can most notably be a representation of the solidarity and brotherhood of law enforcement and their families; understanding that law enforcement officers walk daily on a thin line between life and death and symbolizing that they [law enforcement] will stand together in the fight between good and evil.
While the origin of the “Thin Blue Line” is controversial, it is said to be a play on Rudyard Kipling’s poem “Tommy” from the late 1800s. Kipling refers to the British soldiers as the “Thin Red Line” describing their red uniform colors and refers to the “Thin Red Line” as heroes, although they are not properly respected by those they protect. The term “Thin Blue Line” became popular in the 1988 documentary film by Errol Morris which depicts the case of Robert D. Adams. During the course of the case, Prosecutor Douglas D. Mulder’s closing argument comments that police are the “Thin Blue Line” separating society from “anarchy.”
Today, many law enforcement officers and departments across the United States fly a “Thin Blue Line” flag or display the symbol in another manner to show their unity with one another. In the wake of controversies surrounding officer involved shootings along with various other officer involved incidents, the “Thin Blue Line” symbol has become more popular with not only law enforcement, but law enforcement supporters to show their unity with law enforcement just as the American Flag or Star Spangled Banner does for all United States citizens.
This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal