As we start the new work week after the July 4th holiday, we mourn the loss of three Indiana LEOs  in three different incidents. The thin blue line just got thinner by three. To those who are not familiar, he thin blue line separating two black fields is symbolic.

The thin blue line separates the criminals from the rest of society, society being one black stripe and the criminals the other. The symbolism is that the only thing separating society from the criminals is this thin blue line. Thus that line, when we lose an officer, gets a little thinner.

This Facebook post mocking something which law enforcement considers sacred, understandably, caused instant outrage in the law enforcement community, including me. We all called for an apology, which we didn’t get.

Now LEOs are calling for his removal as he posts more and more anti police rhetoric. According to the New Jersey Herald, Franklin Borough Mayor Paul Crowley has called for Fanale’s resignation.  The Advertiser News has also called for his ouster.

During the next Council meeting, many LEOs will voice their condemnation. It is so good to see the brotherhood rally around this common cause to make their voices heard.

I have another concern; the definition of the thin blue line and what it means. Some would say that whenever we lose an LEO, that the thin blue line just got thinner. However, some believe that the privilege of this statement applies only to line-of-duty deaths.

A cop is a cop and he held that line and made that line resist the bad guys, protecting the good guys. When he /she can no longer do that and dies, then the line gets thinner.   Asking how the death happened is immaterial. The cause of death should not enter into the fact that the line got thinner.

Let’s all keep this in mind as we think about the thin blue line. May the same enthusiasm that is going into the Franklin Council meeting rally for the extreme public assault on the thin blue also go into protecting those that made up the thin blue line.

Remember, their loss makes a difference, no matter what the cause.  The thin blue line gets thinner no matter how they were lost.

Captain Robert Cubby served for 38-year years with the Jersey City (NJ) Police Department, now retired.  A PTSD survivor, he has been involved in PTSD issues with the CISM team.  A prolific author, Captain Cubby focuses on writing about his experiences and solving police problems. He is a National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) instructor about police matters and a frequent conference speaker.

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