WATERLOO – Photos of a Waterloo Police Department cruiser being converted to a new graphic design sparked a social media storm that led the department to retire the post.
The Police Department is currently removing its historic red griffin badge following community criticism that the emblem resembles a KKK dragon.
The griffin logo is currently on the doors of the marked patrol cars. As part of the change mandated by the city council, the mythical beast will disappear from vehicles. A new graphics package has been approved for the patrol cars, which will all be black, but none of the cars have undergone an overhaul, Major Joe Leibold said.
The department’s Facebook page posted a post on Wednesday showing a photo of a police car with the griffin and white quarter panels removed – the logo and white panels are actually made from vinyl wrap.
The message simply said “sad day”.
What followed in the comments section was the usual toxic social media fodder, which resulted in the post being abolished by the police department.
A local television station picked up the battle online, calling the photo of the patrol car a “thug” message that was made without permission.
On Thursday, the ministry retaliated.