Demand an Explanation for Fraternal Order of Police Vehicle Emblems

Target: Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police

Goal: Explain practice of giving members of the Fraternal Order of Police emblems for their license plates, identifying them as law enforcement

All across America, police officers and their families affix Fraternal Order of Police (the world’s largest organization of police officers) emblems to the license plates of their vehicles. The idea is of course that a person’s affiliation with the police will tend to keep them out of trouble. The effectiveness of these emblems is immeasurable because one would be hard-pressed to find an officer who admits to letting fellow officers and their families off the hook; but the connotation is “I’m on your side.” If they weren’t effective, they probably wouldn’t be so common and found on the license plate where they are clearly visible to anyone who gets behind them and especially to any law enforcement officer who reads their plate. Many times these emblems even cover up the license plate number making it clear that all that matters is that the driver of the vehicle is law enforcement. It is nearly impossible to prove that these emblems are used for this reason, but any reasonably intelligent person should be able to come to that conclusion.

The American people deserve a police force that exists for their benefit, not a tight-knit gang that looks out for themselves above all. You probably won’t find too many officers willing to admit that there is a separate set of rules for police in this world, but it is quite true and the widespread display of these emblems is just one of many brazenly-flaunted examples of this mentality. The Fraternal Order of Police needs to answer to the public they exist only to serve and offer up a reasonable explanation for why these emblems are displayed on the vehicles of members and their families. It seems unlikely that they will acknowledge the cronyism behind these emblems, but it seems a fair question to ask. The simple act of letting this organization know that these emblems represent favoritism towards law enforcement officers seems a worthy task in itself.


Dear Mr. Canterbury,

The Fraternal Order of Police’s practice of issuing license plate emblems to its members is a blatant example of the cronyism that pervades law enforcement. The sole purpose of these emblems, whether you admit it or not, is to identify the owner of the vehicle as a member of law enforcement so they may avoid being targeted by fellow officers on duty. It seems to be an unwritten rule that police officers take care of other police officers, sometimes even letting them off the hook. It is natural for people who share a profession to have a sort of bond and give one another professional courtesy; unfortunately professional courtesy in law enforcement tends to lead to a lack of law enforcement. This is a slap in the face to society.

You may argue that members of other organizations display emblems identifying their affiliations, but the result is much more drastic when it comes to your organization. It leads to allowed infraction of the law, which seems counterproductive since that is the reason for the existence of the law enforcement officer and therefore your organization. So I challenge you to give one good reason why your organization issues these emblems, besides allowing your members to be overlooked by the law. Of course these emblems are not the only way to identify that the owner is a law enforcement officer, but to openly flaunt their seeming invulnerability to arrest is disgusting.


[Your Name Here]

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