Town forces fire department to remove Thin Blue Line flags from station property (that honored a murdered officer)

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HINGHAM, MA- The Hingham Fire Department will be removing their Thin Blue Line flags, which were being displayed to honor the anniversary of the tragic death of Sgt. Michael Chesna.

Chesna was a Weymouth police officer who was attacked with a rock and killed with his own gun after responding to an erratic driver in Weymouth back on July 15, 2018. Chesna is survived by his wife and two young children.

According to MSN, the town has had a policy in place forbidding any political messaging on town property, which is why the department said the flags will need to be removed. A spokesperson from the fire department said:

“While they bought the flags to show support for police and Chesna, the flags have taken a different political meaning, which might be offensive to some.”

According to Wicked Local, in a letter to employees, Fire Chief Steve Murphy and Police Chief Glenn Olsson explained that the black and blue flags, which are black-and-white versions of the American flag with a single blue line in the center, will have to be removed from where they have flown atop Hingham fire trucks for the last two years.

In addition the statement, signed by Murphy and Olsson said:

“We have always shared a great working relationship with the police department and they don’t need a sticker or a flag to realize that we have each other’s back during troubling times.”

On Facebook, the fire department released an in-depth statement saying:

“We continued to fly the flags after the anniversary in support of the law enforcement officers in our own community as well as all law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line every day.”

The statement reiterated:

“AT NO TIME was this meant to be a political statement in any way. Nor was it an attempt to show support for or against any specific political party or advocacy group. While the members of Local 2398 are not pleased with the decision to remove the flags, we will continue our unwavering support for all the men and women of law enforcement who bravely protect their communities day in and day out.”

The statement finished with a profoundly:

“We will always Back the Blue.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:The Men and Women of Hingham Firefighters Local 2398 proudly support our brothers and sisters in…

Posted by Hingham Firefighters Local 2398 on Thursday, July 23, 2020

According to The Patch, Local 2398 said that a complaint about the flag was filed against the fire department. The union said the flag was not meant to support or protest any political party or advocacy group and while the union disagrees with the decision, it will comply with the town’s policy.

Braintree Police Chief Mark Dubios said in a statement:

“People put their own meanings on things and they take on a life of their own. From my understanding, that flag is intended to honor those who’ve fallen in the line of duty, people like Sgt. Chesna.”

In Braintree, earlier in the month, Dubois said that around the two year anniversary of Chesna’s death, an anonymous person placed about 500 small thin blue line flags across the town’s common near the town hall. The flags spelled the words, “Thank You.” 

After a brief conversation with the mayor, the flags were moved from the town hall to the Braintree Police Department property to be near a memorial for fallen officers.

Dubois said:

“We didn’t know who did it, but obviously we appreciate the support.”

According to Dubois, there have not been any complaints about the small flags on the Braintree Police Department property and said that they have had the opposite response from residents the last few months.

He said:

“We’ve had a tremendous amount of support. We’ve continuously had donors drop off lunch, thank you cards, all of that kind of thing. We appreciate it.”

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LET Unity

Here’s more on the thin blue line.

Unless you’ve been under a rock during the pandemic, (and really, who could blame you?), you’re no doubt painfully aware of the ongoing attack on law enforcement officers across the country.

The attacks you see on the news are the obvious ones. The physical ones. The demolition of police vehicles, the bricks, bottles, rocks and other projectiles hurled at the police in a clear attempt to harm the officers. Those are the attacks getting all the attention.

Law Enforcement Officers are Under Attack

There are other attacks, seen only by the people closest to law enforcement officers and their families. These attacks are not limited to the riot zones. Looters and thugs do not perpetrate these attacks. These attacks often come silently and unexpectedly from friends and neighbors. They disrupt the peace and privacy of the officers and their families.

Spouses of law enforcement officers are ignored, dismissed, and in some cases, blatantly shunned by their neighbors. Children of police officers find themselves excluded from playing with neighborhood children, even with former friends, whose parents no longer allow them to maintain those friendships.

Simply because a parent puts on a law enforcement uniform to go to work every day, protecting the very streets these people live on. 

If you ask about their job, most police officers will tell you two things: “I love what I do” and “I can’t imagine ever doing anything else”. Even as they leave their houses every day, kissing their spouse and children goodbye, with no guarantee they’ll come home at the end of their shift, these officers proudly continue to serve and protect.

How Law Enforcement Move Works

Paul Chabot understands this. Paul is former military and served in Iraq. He also served as a Deputy Sheriff Reserve for 21 years. He understands the issues facing our law enforcement officers, which is why he founded Law Enforcement Move, a national police relocation firm. Its purpose is to help active and retired law enforcement officers make the move to police-friendly communities.

LEM is part of Conservative Move, the larger corporation, founded by Paul and fellow law enforcement officers, and seen on Fox, CNN, HBO, NBC Nightly News and many others.

In Paul Chabot’s own words:

“Law enforcement officers of all races are being discriminated against because of the color of their uniform. They are under attack by criminals and cowardly politicians working overtime to defund police departments making their job more dangerous. Cops cannot help people who don’t want to help themselves.

Those in our profession now feel they are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. They deserve to live the American dream, in America, and that’s where our team comes in to help.”

LEM exists to help the growing numbers of law enforcement officers who are stuck living in cities where the police have no support from their political leadership. They will help officers move out of those cities and into communities that are still supporting their police, and are not talking about defunding their police force.

The LEM team works hand-in-hand with a growing network of real estate agents, currently operating in 40 states across the country, assisting officers in selling their home and buying a new one. The entire process is 100% confidential.

Law enforcement officers wanting to move can contact LEM to begin the process. Designated realtors working in the desired area or areas will assist them in locating a home they’ll love…one that also makes them feel safe and welcome.

How You Can Help

Law Enforcement Move launched just a few short weeks ago, on June 15, 2020. As they do their best to help our law enforcement officers, they need your help in getting the word out about their mission. 

One of their most pressing needs is for more law enforcement recruiters to contact them, so they can match officers to the communities who need them and will welcome their arrival.

LEM is proud to be helping people move while simultaneously shining a bright light on the problem cities. Over time, when crime goes up as police leave, and the cities hit rock-bottom, maybe then the citizens of those cities will decide they’ve had enough. Maybe they’ll vote in new, pro-police politicians who can fix the broken mess.

Another area you can help is to support the organizations whose mission it is to help police officers. On the LEM website, you can scroll down the page to donate to help Officer Shay Mikalonis, shot in the line of duty and paralyzed from the neck down.

Additional ways you can make a difference include:

Reach out to your local Fraternal Order of Police to see how you can help locally.

Talk to favorite restaurant managers in your area to see if they’re able to offer free meals to police officers.

Go to GiveSendGo, a conservative, Christian, fundraising site, and set up a fundraiser for an injured or fallen police officer or their family.

A Final Word

The men and women of our police departments don’t deserve what’s happening to them right now. And yet they’re still placing their lives on the line. Every. Single. Day. It’s up to us, it’s up to you, it’s up to each American to let them know just how much their commitment and sacrifice means to the majority of the citizens in this great nation. Let your voice be heard!

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