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Controversy after Paso Robles Police Chief removes flag from station

Posted at 8:29 AM, May 07, 2021

The Paso Robles Police chief is finding himself in the middle of some controversy after removing a flag from outside the department.

A Thin Blue Line flag was hung up by a group who decorated the Paso Robles Police Department to show their support for officers, but after a complaint that the flag is divisive, Chief Ty Lewis had the flag removed.

Community members who thought the flag was taken down by a resident began turning to social media to complain and, according to the chief, make threats against the resident believed responsible.

Chief Lewis posted a message on Facebook Thursday explaining why he made the decision to have it removed.

Paso Robles Community Members, I am aware of a controversy surrounding a “Thin Blue Line” flag displayed near the...

Posted by Paso Robles Police Department on Thursday, May 6, 2021

When KSBY Anchor Richard Gearhart spoke with the chief Thursday afternoon, Lewis said while he appreciates the support, he needs to make sure the department is responsive to all viewpoints within the community.

"Part of my job as a police officer and a police chief is to understand or to try and respect everybody's opinion about things, and whether I agree with someone's opinion or not isn't what's at stake here, but we have a… I represent the entire community and so does my police department,” Lewis said.

The chief says it was not his intention to upset those trying to show their support, but the Thin Blue Line flag has become a controversial symbol, which he says was best removed.