The term “thin blue line” typically refers to the concept of the police in society as the line between order and chaos.
Painting a blue line between the double yellow lines in the middle of the street has become an increasingly popular way communities show support for police and law enforcement in the face of protests seeking police reform and social justice and calls to defund police departments.
Tuesday, the city of Bryan signaled its support for Bryan police and all local law enforcement by painting a thin blue line between the double yellow lines in the center of the 100 block of North Beech Street.
Appropriately, the new blue line runs along the east side of the Bryan Police Department.
“I think today you risk a backlash if you take a stand (backing police). But we felt like it is important to take a stand and show our support for our (Bryan) police and for all law enforcement,” Bryan Mayor Carrie Schlade said Tuesday as she posed along the center of Beech Street with City Engineer Brian Wieland, Bryan Police Chief Chris Chapa, Bryan Police Captain Tony Plotts and officers Justin Garza and Tracy Williamson.
Schlade said painting the blue line had been suggested to her by Montpelier resident Heather Freese (who is also running for county commissioner), and another local resident and wife of a law enforcement officer, Brittany Wheeler, who made the formal appeal to have the city paint the blue line on Beech Street at the most recent city council meeting.
Schlade made a point at the council meeting to emphasize that Bryan has no thoughts of defunding the police, as a number of other mostly large cities have discussed.
“I thought (the blue line) was a great idea ... council fully supported it. We want to make it clear we back the Bryan police. They are amazing individuals, they are quality officers who represent us in the most positive manner, we’re proud to know them and we are thankful they protect our community,” Schlade said.
Chapa said he and his officers appreciate the gesture.
“The support of the public goes a long way, and we appreciate it, especially with what’s going on at the national level (with protests and efforts to defund police),” Chapa said, noting that the line, on Beech Street next to the department’s building, is in an appropriate and very visible location.
“It’s the right place for it. We probably use this street a hundred times a day. It’s good for us to see it every day ... and for the residents to see it every day and know that we are here for them,” said Chapa.