Watch the video below to learn about the controversy over the new logo.
Video credit: CBS Los Angeles
Police officials from Laguna Beach – a coastal town in California – have ignored public demands of changing their new emblem which was called to be ‘too aggressive’ and ‘militaristic’.
The residents of the town lodged their complaint with the City Council as well as the police department, saying the new logo may be offensive to tourists and immigrants.
However, the council voted in favor of the police department on Tuesday to retain the new design on their 11 Ford Explorers.
The logo comprises of stripes and stars running through the word ‘police’ on the vehicles.
Laguna Beach Mayor Steve Dicterow said they faced a ‘very narrow decision’ before voting and that their debate soon broadened into a conversation about patriotism.
Speaking to LA Times, he said: ‘Some of the words people used was that they felt it was threatening, intimidating, harassing and a symbol of racism. I think it’s reasonable that we’re going to look at it again so that whatever we [approve] is exactly what we put on the car.’
The emblem was criticized first by Carrie Woodburn, a local Orange County artist, who said the ‘boldness of the design’ left her stunned.
‘We have such an amazing community of artists here, and I thought the aesthetic didn’t really represent our community,’ Woodburn told LA Times. ‘It feels very aggressive.’
However, many residents disagreed with Woodburn.
Attorney Jennifer Zeiter said the design was ‘exceptional’ and that the objections might be connected to contempt towards Trump.
‘They are so filled with hatred toward this … office of the president of the United States and the current occupant of that office, that they cannot see through their current biases to realize that a police vehicle with the American flag is the ultimate American expression,’ she said.
The cops said they have only received compliments upon driving the vehicles in town.
‘Every time I came to a stop sign, every time I came to a red light, somebody is telling me the car looks great,’ said Laguna Beach Police Cpl. Ryan Hotchkiss.
‘Every one of our members that drives the car loves it, and we look forward to keeping them the way they are.’
But local designer Chris Prelitz disagreed. He recalled an incident he recently witnessed at a hotel in which several children and families panicked at the sight of cars.
‘When one of them’s there, it works,’ he said.
‘But all of a sudden, I saw, wow, when there are three, maybe four of them together, folks thought it was a SWAT team, federal agents. So it had a very striking, strong impact, so much so that I think there might be some unintended consequences.’
According to Police Chief Laura Farinella, they changed the design so as to become more visible in public places.
‘Having 6.5 million visitors, we want to stand out, we want to be recognizable when they flag us down and we’re at a scene,’ Farinella told the Laguna Beach Independent in February.
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