VIROQUA, Wis. (WXOW) - Viroqua's police chief said Friday that after community discussion, the department is removing a controversial symbol from its squad car.
Chief Rick Neidfeldt said in a statement that they're removing the thin blue line due to concerns over the imagery.
The statement said,
After hearing the comments and concerns brought forth from the Diversity Board and the public, I, along with the members of the Viroqua Police Department have made the decision to remove the Thin Blue Line from our squad car. Our office recognizes the different emotions that this symbol has brought to members of our community, and we want to make sure we are following our Mission Statement and Core Values as a department.
My Officers and I appreciate the support we have received recently. It is our hope that this decision will help build trust and optimism within the community, with a goal of shared success.
Chief Niedfeldt Viroqua Police Department
Several community members had approached the Mayor and City Council members taking issue that the image carries racist and police brutality connotations causing people to feel unsafe about the police. Other community members felt the symbol is positive as it just represents support for the police force in general. Others feel that those who don't like the symbol are ones who don't support the police.
The thin blue line image was on police car cruisers, uniforms, and building signs.