Carroll Wills, spokesman for a statewide firefighter labor organization that represents about 30,000 front-line responders, California Professional Firefighters, said city ordinances vary. Yet he said it’s generally not considered proper to have uniformed personnel in any kind of political mailer.
“In most municipalities, it’s not lawful — or at a minimum — it’s against municipal policies,” Wills said. “It’s not something we would ever counsel our affiliates to do no matter who took the photo. In our view … to use the color of public office to promote a political cause one way or another, even if the photo was taken by a newspaper … it’s a line we would not have our members cross because it confers an endorsement from the department.”
In 2012 then-City Council candidate John Harabedian sent a campaign postcard of himself and two police officers in full uniform. The city conducted an internal investigation.
No one blurred or photoshopped any official city insignia from the photos used for the “Yes on Measure UUT” postcard.
You have to wonder whether the people responsible for this "Yes On UUT" postcard really understood what it is they were playing with. For the supporters of Measure UUT this controversy couldn't have come at a worse time.