Smithtown FD pulls Thin Blue Line flag following community member complaint
A Thin Blue Line flag that was once waving at the Smithtown Fire Department has been taken down after it drew a bit of controversy.
A community member complaint led to the removal of the flag from the department and on any fire vehicles.
Fire chiefs around the nation have been banning the flag from fire department vehicles in a move that some say will promote harmony.
The Thin Blue Line has symbolized support for police, but it has become controversial as it has been seen at pro-police and pro-Trump rallies in response to Black Lives Matter marches.
Smithtown Fire Chief Kevin Fitzpatrick says it was a hard decision to take it down, but he decided it was the best course of action.
"It was a tough decision to take it off actually, and our support of law enforcement does not waver, not even a little bit," he says. "We did receive a complaint from someone ... we discussed it and we thought our best course of action would be to remove the flag."
The Thin Blue Line flag was originally put on the fire department vehicle back in 2014 as a memorial to two NYPD officers who were executed in Brooklyn.
Elaine Gross, with ERASE Racism, says the Smithtown Fire Department did the right thing by taking it down.
"Fire departments are here to protect everybody, so to send a message that at all questions that is not what we want on a fire truck," says Gross.