- Associated Press - Saturday, July 18, 2015

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A Belleville police uniform policy that would have inadvertently prevented officers from wearing American flag shoulder patches has quickly been rescinded by the city’s police chief.

The Belleville News-Democrat (https://bit.ly/1Ss6gJf ) reported that the new policy outlined by Chief Bill Clay in a July 7 memo called for officers to wear the Belleville city police patch on both shoulders as they received new uniforms - a standard the chief said duplicates the policies of most law enforcement agencies.

Clay changed the policy in response to officer and public complaints. Belleville police can now choose whether to wear two city flag police shoulder patches or pair the Belleville patch with an American flag patch on the opposite shoulder.

Those who wear the two city shoulder patches can still wear a lapel pin, tie clip or bar on the chest pocket displaying the American flag.

The policy’s goal was to “get some uniformity and symmetry with our uniforms,” Clay said. In a second memo released Friday, the chief responded, “Unfortunately, some employee(s) of this department chose to release misinformation concerning the policy change to the public resulting in unnecessary criticisms and claims questioning the motives of such a change.” He declined to identify whom he thought was responsible for misrepresenting the new policy.

City Clerk Dallas Cook is among those who questioned the initial decision.

“It’s absolutely the right decision to allow our police officers to display proudly the American flag,” said Cook, who has organized a Monday night rally outside City Hall to “save the American flag in Belleville.” Cook said he still plans to hold the event.


This story has been corrected to show that the police chief declined to identify whom he thought was responsible for misrepresenting the new policy, not that he declined to identify whom he thought released the earlier memo. It also has been corrected to show the last name of the city clerk is Cook, not Clark, and to show that the modified policy does not allow an American flag patch on both shoulders.


Information from: Belleville News-Democrat, https://www.bnd.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide