Time was when calling a cop a "pig" was enough to get a nightstick to your noggin — or worse — in some jurisdictions. But after the recent revelation by the Burlington Free Press that as many as 30 Vermont State Police cruisers have been unwittingly sporting a porcine portrait deftly concealed in the most sacred of Vermont's sacred cows, the joke's been on them. Online, the story has gone more viral than swine flu.
Whereas most of Vermont's law enforcement have taken the insult in stride and politely chuckled about the creative handiwork of the as-yet unidentified prison inmate, the Shumlin administration immediately swung into action and called for the immediate de-porking of all VSP patrol cars — at an estimated price tag of $780.
Enter the Facebook "Save our Pigs" campaign. Local radio announcer, TJ Michaels and local musician Cid Sinclair have organized a campaign to get the governor to handle the matter "in a manner more consistent with Vermont's famous laid-back demeanor." The group has now swelled to well over 500 members and an online petition has garnered more than 200 signatures in just a few days.
"The public response has been incredible and strongly in our favor," says Sinclair, in a press statement this afternoon. "The outpouring of support from law enforcement across the country, and literally from around the world, has been the biggest surprise thus far. I think folks generally feel like the Shumlin administration is missing an opportunity to have some fun and acknowledge an awesomely played prank. Vermont has a tradition and history of quirky events that are a part of what makes us unique as Vermonters. People feel like this should be revered as another chapter in that tradition."
No word back from the Shumlin folks yet as to whether they think this campaign is kosher. Stay tuned.
Photo courtesy Vermont State Police