I was very pleased to learn the ASIS Global Board of Directors unanimously approved the “Thin Purple Line” initiative at their June 22, 2020 board meeting. The boards of the International Foundation for Protection Officers (IFPO) as well as the Anti-Terrorism Accreditation Board (ATAB) both previously approved the “Thin Purple Line” initiative.
Globally, “Thin Line” colors have come to represent the various disciplines of professionals that help others. Beyond the “Thin Blue Line” being a symbol used by law enforcement professionals, the “Thin Red Line” is used by the firefighting community, the “Thin White Line” for Emergency Medical Services the “Thin Gold Line” representing Communications Operators (dispatchers). The “Thin Green Line” represents Federal Agents such as Border Patrol, Park Rangers, Game Wardens and Conservation Personnel, whereas the “Thin Silver Line” represents Corrections Officers. What is missing is any type of a standardized “Thin Line” color that represents the security profession, both public and private.
While private and public sector security personnel form an essential part of the protective apparatus of most nations, and outnumber law enforcement personnel by a two-to-one margin, they currently do not have their own “Thin Line” color.
As there is no agreed-upon color representing the security profession, it is right for those who work in security to have their own “Thin Line” color. This would be used to show on-going support for security professionals and to create a better sense of professional community and also honor and memorialize the security professionals who are injured or killed in the line of duty.
What “Thin Line” color is most appropriate to represent security professionals? ASIS Law Enforcement Liaison Council (LELC) conducted extensive research to answer this question. The outcome of that research resulted in the committee recommending the color purple be adopted as the official “Thin Line” color based on these factors:
- The color purple is derived by combining the color blue (the color for law enforcement), the color red (the color for fire) and the color white (the color for EMS). Since the duties and responsibilities of most security professionals entail duties of each of these professions, the color purple is the most sensible. This color combines the calm stability of blue and the fierce energy of red.
- The color purple is separate and distinct enough from the colors of other public safety and related disciplines so there can be no confusion between it and other “Thin Line” colors.
- A query was conducted with multiple sheriffs and police chiefs asking if they would support purple as the “Thin Line” color representing all security – public and private. Without fail, they all thought it a good idea and strongly supported purple being designated as the “Thin Line” color for the security profession.
- Security professionals having their own “Thin Line” color would help raise awareness of the security profession with the public.
The committee presented its research and findings to the LELC during their monthly meeting on July 11, 2018. The committee recommended ASIS International adopt the color of Velvet Purple, [Pantone 2612], as the official color to represent all public and private security professionals. This motion was brought before the LELC for a vote where it was unanimously adopted. The LELC Chair then forwarded this initiative to the ASIS Board of Directors with a recommendation for their consideration.