144 law enforcement officers were shot and killed in the line of duty, last year. The number of law enforcement officer deaths in 2018 is rising which is disappointing news as these figures show just how dangerous and difficult their job really is.
Laguna Beach Police Department were hoping to give the vehicles a much needed facelift as they unveiled their patrol cars’ new design.
However, once people saw the design, they instantly demanded the department to change it. Some criticised the new design was “a symbol of racism” toward immigrants.
The Laguna Beach Police Department didn’t expect to receive any critisism when they unveiled the new design on their cars. They are in hot water with the city council for the wording on the patrol car doors, which features “POLICE” in American flag print.
The word “police” features prominently across the side of each vehicle, painted in an Old Glory-inspired red, white and blue design.
Some in the community take pride in the patriotic look, others find it problematic. The decals prompted criticism from a small minority of the public who said the stars and striped are offensive, and aggressive, particularly to immigrants.
Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow confirmed that people found the print to be racist. He has received a dozen emails of concern from residents after the city council approved the design.
“Some of the words people used was that they felt it was threatening, intimidating, harassing and a symbol of racism,” Steve Dicterow said.
Local artist Carrie Woodburn said the design scheme and having the American flag on the squad cars looked “aggressive.”
Carrie Woodburn received more than 150 angry messages via phone calls, texts, voicemails and emails from people who disagreed with her assessment.
Woodburn, whose parents served in the US military, said she wasn’t criticizing the appearance of the flag. “I don’t really care too much about the design, other than what I said — it’s bad art,” Woodburn said.
The matter dates to February, when the proposed graphic that the council unanimously approved was a more muted version.“Clearly, the way it looks on the car is not what anyone expected it to look like,” Dicterow said.
“I think it’s reasonable that we’re going to look at it again so that whatever we [approve] is exactly what we put on the car.”
The council proposed a more muted black-and-white version of the text, a small group of protesters gathered near the beach Monday afternoon to show support for the patriotic design.
“People are screaming that the American flag on a police car is somehow or another … hurting people’s feelings who might be immigrants or visitors,” said Councilman Peter Blake.“People are actually ridiculous enough to bring up comments about our cop cars having American flags on them.”
So far the Laguna Beach Police explained that they haven’t received any negative comments. The reactions have been positive and those driving the vehicles haven’t heard complaints.
“Every time I came to a stop sign, every time I came to a red light, somebody is telling me the car looks great. Every one of our members that drives the car loves it, and we look forward to keeping them the way they are”, Laguna Beach Police Cpl. Ryan Hotchkiss said.
On Tuesday night, the City Council decided to keep the American flag-adorned lettering that became the subject of a nationwide debate over whether the design is patriotic or “threatening.”
After two hours of public comments the decision came in a 4-1 City Council vote, which included the singing of the national anthem and chants of “USA.”
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