I have seen quite a bit of ‘chatter’ on social media recently regarding the history of the ‘thin blue line’ emblem that is often worn by the police as a way of commemorating their colleagues who have been killed and murdered whilst on duty.
A well-known journalist tweeted about the fact that Hackney Police, in their words, should not have used the emblem in a tweet that they published out of respect for Sgt Ratana who was shot in the chest as he went to check on the welfare of someone who had been arrested for possession of class ‘B’ drugs with intent to supply.
Sgt Ratana spent many years serving in the London borough of Hackney, spending countless hours helping the local community and helping victims of crime.
The journalist in question later apologised for their tweet, which had caused widespread offence amongst the large police family. And we commend him for doing so, despite the backlash from some of his followers.
The thin line emblem has, for years now, represented the incredibly thin line between order and chaos.
Imagine a world where there was no police? Imagine the carnage that would ensue? Hence, the ‘thin blue line’ is all that stands between chaos and (relative) order.
The thin blue line emblem also acts as a mark of respect to the officers who have been murdered whilst on duty.
Officers like PC Andrew Harper who was dragged behind a car for 1.4 miles at an average speed of 42.5 mph. PC Harper had tried to confront three masked burglars who carried out an armed raid on a property in the middle of the night. He gave his life trying to protect the public.
Officers like PC Keith Palmer who confronted an armed madman who had just murdered innocent members of the public. As PC Palmer went to take on the evil that faced him – armed only with a metal stick and some incapacitant spray – he was repeatedly stabbed and bled to death on the floor.
Officers like PC Fiona Bone and PC Nicola Hughes, who responded to what they thought was a call for help when, in reality, Satan himself was waiting for them armed with various weapons and grenades.
Officers like PC Sharon Beshenivsky who was shot and killed as she responded to a call for help that was made by a member of the public who was reporting an armed robbery.
I could go on and on, but I am sure that you get the picture.
These brave and heroic officers ran towards a genuine evil that some people pretends does not exist.
On the day they were murdered, each of these officers, and many more like them, left their families to do a job which many people are simply too afraid to do.
The police and members of the police family have every right to pay homage to their colleagues; their friends, who died whilst trying to protect the public.
PS Ratana is the latest brave officer to be murdered in the line of duty. But he will not be the last.
When you call 999 to report masked intruders in your home or to report the fact that you are being robbed at gunpoint, then you have the luxury of knowing that brave men and women will be risking their own lives to come to your aid.
They might be strangers to you, but they are still willing to risk their lives for you and your family.
You might not ‘like’ the police – or authority – but the truth is that you need the police more than the police need you.
The police do not have to do the job they do, but you have to want them to put their lives on the line to protect you against the evil that really does roam amongst us.
If somebody who does not represent the police chooses to try and hijack the thin line emblem, then indeed anyone with an ounce of common sense must be able to grasp the simple fact that the symbol being hijacked.
In such a scenario, the thin line emblem does not all-of-a-sudden represent the hijacker of the symbol or their actions.
Take the entrepreneur Peter Jones, as an example.
He has a family crest that he wears on his suits. If I copy that family crest and then go out and commit heinous crimes whilst wearing his family crest, does that then mean that the Jones’ family crest now represents me and my criminal activity?
No. Of course, it doesn’t.
Our police have the right to commemorate their colleagues who have died and who have been murdered whilst trying to protect the public from the sort of evil person who would have no qualms whatsoever in killing you or your family.
So when that evil takes the life of someone who is in our emergency services family, then we have a right to honour and remember them.
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