Cleveland, OH - The Solon Police Department announced, on social media Tuesday, that it has removed the "Thin Blue Line" flag from its' property. Solon Police Chief Richard Tonelli, in a letter posted to the department's Facebook page, said the flag was taken down because "It caused a divisive and unhealthy reaction within our community."
On Tuesday afternoon, Chief Tonelli was a guest on WTAM 1100's Mike Trivisonno Show to discuss why the flag was taken down. He said, "The Mayor requested that I take it down, and I decided that this was not the hill I wanted to die on." He went on to say, "I want the department's relationship with the community to be a partnership built on trusting each other, so we didn't want to spark a political debate that could divide our city."
Here's the rest of that conversation:
Later in the afternoon Tuesday, Solon Mayor Edward Kraus released a letter on the city's Facebook page. Mayor Kraus says, "It seems a few of our residents took Chief Tonelli's raising of the 'Thin Blue Line' flag on department property to mean something that was clearly not intended." He went on to say, "This is a product of our current environment and one that tarnishes the best intentions."
Chief Tonelli told WTAM 1100's Mike Trivisonno, "A 'National Law Enforcement Memorial' flag will go up in its' place once it's shipped to us."
(Copyright, iHeartMedia, 2021)
Listen to WTAM news at the top and bottom of the hour