Ill. SRO is reassigned, then reinstated after 'thin blue line' comments

Officer Lisa Schaps had voiced support for her department’s thin blue line uniform patch at a local board meeting and on the TV show "Fox & Friends"


By Suzie Ziegler 

MOUNT PROSPECT, Ill. — A school resource officer in a Chicago suburb made headlines last week when she was reassigned after defending the ‘thin blue line’ on her department’s uniform patch. Now she’s back at her post. 

According to The Chicago Tribune, the school district originally requested that Officer Lisa Schaps be reassigned after she made the comments at a village board meeting and on the national TV show "Fox & Friends." 

The district said Schaps “has become a police department spokesperson on this issue” and requested a different officer be assigned to the school “in order for our focus to remain on our students and school-related issues,” according to the Tribune. 

But the school district appeared to reverse its decision. 

“Following last week’s meeting between the Prospect High School administration and the Mount Prospect administration and Police Department regarding Prospect’s school resource officer, both parties have had productive, continued conversations,” village and school officials said in a joint statement Thursday obtained by the Tribune. “Officer Schaps will continue to serve as the school resource officer at Prospect High School for the upcoming year.” 

Schaps made two appearances on "Fox & Friends," where she explained why she supports thin blue line imagery. 

“To me (the patch) is about honor, it’s about pride, it’s about kinship, you know I even said love,” Schaps said in her first of two appearances on Fox, where she spoke with fellow Officer Chris Berg. “To me, when I spoke it was really about all the things that it means not only to myself, but to everybody in my family and my circle.” 

A group of community members who favored a redesign of the patch decried the decision to reinstate Schaps. 

“We are dismayed that (Schaps) has been reinstated without any public acknowledgment that her words were harmful. We hope that she will recognize the harm that she has caused the students and the community, and that she will serve our students with new compassion and true understanding of what it means to recognize their identities so that they feel seen, valued, and heard,” the Mount Prospect Citizens for Justice group said in a statement Thursday. 

According to the Tribune, six community members had also voiced concern about the patch at the village board meeting. 

[READ: State your case: Should the thin blue line flag be banned from police departments?]

In her second appearance on "Fox & Friends," Schaps was joined by her police chief, John Koziol. 

“This has been a passion for Lisa, it’s been a job she’s always wanted,” Koziol said on Fox. “I know how much she does for those kids.” 

Schaps says she is looking forward to welcoming students back to school next month, according to the Tribune. 

 

Police1 readers respond

  • I first want to commend Officer Lisa Schaps on the professional way she defended herself and the Thin Blue Line uniform patch. This month (July 2021) I hit the 44-year mark in my law enforcement career, all in uniform and assigned to the streets. I am also a member of the Hostage-Crisis Negotiator Team (for 26 years), and the Chief's Honor Guard (for 33 years). The Thin Blue Line patch represents exactly what that phrase was originally "coined" to proclaim: All of us who serve in the law enforcement profession are what keeps lawlessness from taking over and destroying our country. We are a brotherhood and sisterhood that few other careers/professions can profess, as we must "see it all" and "do it all" to keep society together (that is not an overstatement either!). Countless times, folks come up to us (when we're both on and off the job) and state, "Officer, thank you for your service!" or, "I would not do your job for any amount of money!" I wonder how many of Officer Schaps' critics try to dissuade their kids (or any child), who say, "I want to be a police officer someday" from even thinking about that career because of what they believe us ALL to be! The Thin Blue Line patch belongs right there, with the badge and the logo "To Serve and Protect" on our department vehicles.

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