Not backing down: RV resort bans former officer for 60 days after Thin Blue Line flag incident

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RONDOUT VALLEY, NY – A former police officer that was informed that he wasn’t allowed to fly a thin blue line flag at a Thousand Trails RV campground in Rondout Valley earlier in July has received notice that his membership with Thousand Trails has been suspended for 60 days.

The rationale behind the suspended membership, according to the notice the former officer received, was for “abusive or disruptive behavior”.

As we previously reported here at Law Enforcement Today, former police officer Eric Reynolds was staying at the Thousand Trails RV campground in Rondout Valley on July 6th when he was approached by a campground staff member regarding a thin blue line flag hung on his campsite.

The staff member informed Reynolds that his manager, Crystal, sent him over to request that the flag be taken down, adding that this was some form of policy that corporate was pushing to have enforced.

Reynolds became incensed over the request, mentioning that he’s a retired police officer that suffered an injury in the line of duty. During the exchange with the staff member, Reynolds did drop a couple of expletives directed toward the campground employee:

“That flag represents my brothers and sisters, and they’re going to send some piece of shit over here to ask me to take my fucking flag down.”

The manager who sent the employee over, Crystal, eventually came and spoke with Reynolds over the matter. Crystal reiterated that the thin blue line flag falls under some corporate policy that forbids “modified American flags” from being flown on the campgrounds.

Also, during the exchange between Reynolds and Crystal, the campground manager said that Reynolds was “belligerent to staff” and that “there’s no reason to curse at somebody else who is trying to do his job.”

While the exchange ended with Crystal informing Reynolds that he needed to leave the campground immediately, Reynolds wound up complying with the flag mandate and stayed at the campground for roughly an additional week following the encounter.

On July 19th, five days after Reynolds had already left the campground without further incident or conflict with staff, Reynolds was informed by Thousand Trails that his membership is suspended for 60 days – meaning he’s banned from all the company’s campgrounds during the suspension.

The notice Reynolds was sent reads as follows:

“Dear Mr. Reynolds, I am in receipt of an incident report from our Rondout valley RV Resort Preserve which outlines a member rule violation that took place on July 6, 2021. Our review of this incident found a violation of the following provision of your membership: Rule 6n.”

“We will not tolerate abusive or disruptive behavior whether directed at preserve management, staff or other persons. Please consider this letter as notification of the Rule 6n (abusive or disruptive behavior) violation which occurred during your stay at Rondout Valley RV Resort Preserve.”

“Due to the nature of this incident, your membership has been suspended for 60 days, from 2021-07-19 through 2021-09-17 for this member rule violation.”

Based upon citation of “abusive and disruptive behavior” and mentioning of it being directed at either “preserve management” or “staff”, it appears that the suspension is referring to the expletives directed at the campground employee.

We at Law Enforcement Today spoke with Reynolds about the suspension, and he drew the same conclusion as well. However, he did have some positive news to share in all this.

While Thousand Trails won’t allow Reynolds back for two months, other campgrounds have been more than welcoming to him and his thin blue line flag.

The folks over at Spruce Row Campground & RV Park in Ithaca, New York invited Reynolds over to their park, with Reynolds writing the following on Facebook after receiving the invite from the campground:

“With my 60 Day Suspension From Tiolet Trails, I would like to thank Scott Sherwood and Hunter Sherwood. They invited my family to their Spruce Row Campsite in Ithaca, NY tomorrow for the next week.”

“Beautiful place and a place I can Fly My Thin Blue Line Flag! Thank you Scott and Hunter. We have three more invites as well to hang in the Upsate NY area. More to come on those locations soon.”

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As mentioned earlier, we at Law Enforcement Today first reported on this incident at the Thousand Trails campground earlier in July. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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RONDOUT VALLEY, NY – On July 6th, a retired police officer who was settled into the Thousand Trails RV campground in Rondout Valley found himself being accosted by employees of the campground for having a thin blue line flag hanging outside of his RV.

This retired police officer was told that he had to remove the thin blue line flag, and when he pushed back over the proclamations of this being a corporate policy for Thousand Trails, he was informed by staff that he had to leave the campground.

As seen on the above video, an employee pulls up to the campsite on a golf cart and informs the retired police officer, Eric Reynolds, that he needs to remove the thin blue line flag. During this interaction, the employee proclaims that it is a corporate mandate that such flags cannot be flown on the campgrounds.

Reynolds, as seen in the video, is reasonably incensed – highlighting that he’s a retired police officer who suffered an injury in the line of duty and the flag in question bears a lot of meaning to him personally.

Reynolds then asks the employee to send over the manager, Crystal, so that way he can have a conversation with her about the debacle. Crystal, as it would turn out, was not much help either.

The manager on site reiterated that Thousand Trails had some sort of corporate policy that allegedly says that alterations of the American flag are not allowed to be hung on campgrounds. After some back and forth, the manager alleged that Reynolds was being “belligerent” to her staff and ordered the police veteran to leave the campgrounds.

We at Law Enforcement Today had an opportunity to converse with Eric Reynolds, the man who was subjected to harassment from Thousand Trails employees over him having an innocuous thin blue line flag hanging outside of his RV at the campsite he was settled into.

And while Reynolds was pretty heated during the confrontation with Thousands Trails staff, he’s not out for proverbial blood per se, but he does want some awareness raised over the fairly petty enforcement over a questionable “corporate” policy.

When speaking about the interaction over the thin blue line flag, Reynolds stated:

“Most people that we’ve talked to, they’ve never had any issue with it.”

As of the morning of July 7th, Reynolds hadn’t left the campground in question, nor has anyone come up to him from the grounds reiterating demands for him to leave.

That was likely in part by Reynolds conceding to the bizarre mandate proclaimed by Thousand Trails staff and removing the thin blue line flag from where it was hung outside the campgrounds and simply suspended it from the inside of his truck.

Thin blue line flag in truck - courtesy of Eric Reynolds
Thin blue line flag in truck – courtesy of Eric Reynolds
For the sake of clarity, we at Law Enforcement Today reviewed the Thousand Trails “RV and Site Standards & Guidelines” to see what sorts of policies revolved around flags. 

And there is indeed a section pertaining to flags and what sorts of flags are allowed to be flown on the campgrounds. While there is no specific mention of the disallowance of “modified” American flags, the policy reads as follows: 

“The following flags are allowed to be displayed at your site and throughout the campground/resort, American, Canadian, Military, including Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard, POW, MIA, and veterans, sports and decorative flags such as holiday, seasonal or garden.”

Although, since the beef with campground staff arose from the flag itself, Reynolds (following the guidance of his better half) decided to prop up the likes of thin blue line shirts and mugs outside his campground.

Thin blue line shirt and mug outside campground - courtesy of Eric Reynolds
Thin blue line shirt and mug outside campground – courtesy of Eric Reynolds
Considering that there’s nothing prohibiting the likes of certain shirts and mugs in the Thousand Trails’ guidelines, it seems like Reynolds proudly sporting said gear is one clever way to sneak in a work around to display his support for those holding the thin blue line. 

Overall, even though Reynolds was heated in the moment when confronted with ridiculous proclamations of “corporate” policy, he’s now able to kind of laugh off the absurdity over people freaking out over a thin blue line flag. 

But one of the more interesting aspects that Reynolds spoke with us about is his desire to keep helping his brothers and sisters in the law enforcement community with his newfound passion – that being helping those in law enforcement attaining a healthy lifestyle by way of his venture called “Keto Five-0”. 

Keto Five-0 emblem on Reynolds' truck - courtesy of Eric Reynolds
Keto Five-0 emblem on Reynolds’ truck – courtesy of Eric Reynolds
When speaking about this effort of his, Reynolds dived into his own weight loss journey and renewed energy even in his retirement, wanting to share this experience with those in law enforcement looking to bring about positive change in their lifestyle: 

“I’ve got one client that I picked up in December, right after Thanksgiving, she’s 50, and she was 250 pounds. Now, she just broke 200 pounds – and she’s all excited!”

Those interested in learning more about Reynolds’ endeavors with Keto Five-0 can check out his website/blog here

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