Illinois police officers are defending the badge and their thin blue line patches after local residents claimed the symbol to be “divisive.”
“It’s about honor. It’s about pride. It’s about kinship,” Mount Prospect, Illinois police officer Lisa Schaps, alongside fellow officer Chris Berg, told “Fox & Friends” Tuesday. “You know, I even said love. I’ve got children. I’ve got family…it’s all of those things and it’s just really important to us.”
Schaps’ comments come as violent crimes continue to surge nationwide. Last week, the Illinois police officer joined her colleagues and spoke out about the thin blue line patches during a village board meeting.
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“I invite those people to come to a ride-along with us, spend some time with us, hear our point of view,” Berg told co-host Ainsley Earhardt. “[The thin blue line] is symbolic for officers that have given their all, their lives to serve in their community.”
The number of police officers killed in the line of duty reportedly has increased over 40% throughout the first 6 months of 2021 compared to 2020, a Fox News poll finds.
The Mount Prospect Police Department Chief John Koziol told “Fox & Friends First” earlier Tuesday that the thin blue line patch was adopted in 2017. Since then nearly a dozen people have come forward and claimed the symbol “offended” them and demanded the patches be removed.
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“It was designed back when there was a large number of police officers being ambushed,” Koziol added. “Over time, it has come to symbolize a memorial to police officers killed in the line of duty, and that was the entire intent of it being on our shoulder…that’s why we’re refusing to remove it.”