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Last week, network and cable news coverage of the different elections taking place across America featured the usual passel of political pundits debating what the results meant for both major political parties.

Meanwhile, in Maryland we had dozens of nonpartisan races take place on the municipal level, though none of the races pitted a Republican nominee against a Democrat nominee. But fear not, one Maryland Democrat, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, found a way to make national headlines last week when he decided to disrespect members of law enforcement not only in his county, but nationwide.

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Montgomery County has long been a far-left socialist safe haven, but Elrich’s action was beyond the pale, even for an elected official who prohibited county law enforcement officials from cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement — effectively rolling out the red carpet for criminal illegal aliens, including MS-13 gang members, to operate in his jurisdiction.

The controversy began on Oct. 28, otherwise known as National First Responders Day. A Germantown craftsman and his young son decided to donate a homemade wooden “Thin Blue Line” flag to their local county police station. The officers at the Fifth District Police Station were so excited to receive the colorful gift that they posted a picture of it on Facebook on Oct. 30.

A thin blue line has traditionally been used to represent the police as the force that separates order from chaos. More recently, a version of the American flag that includes a thin blue line has been used to show support for law enforcement. It turns out that not everybody sees the Thin Blue Line flag in the same light.

Keyboard warriors were quick to blast the Montgomery County police department for accepting a flag that they contend promotes racism and encourages an abuse of power by the police. By Nov. 1, Elrich publicly stated, “The flag provides a symbol of ‘support’ to some but is a symbol of ‘dismissiveness’ to others. Because it is divisive, the flag will not be posted at the Fifth District nor in any public space within the Police Department." Finally, Elrich added that both he and acting county police Chief Marcus Jones “understand the concerns of the community.”

Elrich’s slap in the face to law enforcement left a red mark that did not go unnoticed. CNN and Fox News quickly picked the story up and many in Maryland, and elsewhere began to weigh in on this assault on the men and women in blue.

On Nov. 3, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan posted a picture on social media of himself standing next to a Thin Blue Line flag displayed at his residence, the Government House in Annapolis. Hogan tweeted, “To outlaw these American flags from being hung in county buildings by law enforcement officers is outrageous and unconscionable.” Hogan added on Facebook, “These flags are on display in the Executive Protection Command Center, where our State Troopers work every day.”

Montgomery County’s local Fraternal Order of Police released a statement and made it clear that it would be honored to accept the handmade Thin Blue Line flag. “We condemn this arbitrary, political action and are especially disappointed that (acting Chief) Marcus Jones does not demonstrate appreciation and understanding of the concerns of working police officers.”

Local elected officials were not shy about where they stood on Executive Elrich’s foolish decision. Carroll County Sheriff Jim DeWees shared on Facebook, “Many of these flags fly in different forms throughout my office. Law enforcement, Fire/EMS, dispatchers and other first responders have variations of these flags that show unity and respect for our professions.” State Sen. Justin Ready commented on the situation on Facebook by stating that Elrich’s decision was “ridiculous and absurd.”

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.foxnews.com/us/maryland-county-exec-bans-police-thin-blue-line-flag-divisive.amp Misgu...

Posted by Sheriff Jim DeWees on Sunday, November 3, 2019

Elrich comes from a long line of Democrat Maryland politicians who have disrespected law enforcement in recent years. Who can forget former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie “Space-to-Destroy” Rawlings-Blake, who in 2015 instructed her officers to stand down and allow rioters free reign to threaten the lives and property of residents? Or Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who charged six police officers with multiple crimes including second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter for doing their jobs, but did not secure a single conviction? When politicians do not support law enforcement, morale decreases among the rank and file, and crime is sure to increase.

Instead of coming after his own police officers, Elrich should be doing everything in his power to support them and give them the necessary resources to enforce the law and protect the the residents of the county who elected him to serve. According to a report on 2018 crime released by the Montgomery County police, “The number of rapes reported in 2018 increased 27.8% and has been steadily increasing over the last four years.” At the same time, gang-related violent crimes increased by 27% from 2017 to 2018, largely thanks to the rise of MS-13 in their county. Is this really the right time for Elrich to come down on his officers for accepting a flag that shows support for law enforcement? Montgomery County’s police department has real concerns to address and they need the executive’s full support.

Sheriff DeWees said it best in his social media post when he wrote, “Thank God I don’t have this in my county.” Carroll County’s residents overwhelmingly respect the police and support local law enforcement at every turn. Montgomery County’s Marc Elrich should have done the same but, unfortunately, his politically correct pandering revealed his true colors.

Christopher Tomlinson, a member of the Carroll County Republican Central Committee, writes from Melrose. Email him at CCTtomlinson@gmail.com.

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