The City of Colton in Southern California recently celebrated its 125th anniversary. The city's very first marshal was Virgil Earp, one of the Earp brothers of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral fame. It made perfect sense for the local police department to create a symbol of its rich heritage.
Ranging from the anniversary of 9/11 to special events like the Super Bowl or Presidential election, these anniversary badges are a sign of pride and honor for each department.
The anniversary badges boost officer morale and instill a sense of pride throughout the department.
Badges to commemorate special events are more popular than ever. Ranging from the anniversary of 9/11 to special events like the Super Bowl or the Presidential election these badges are a sign of pride and honor for each department. However, police anniversary badges are by far the most common.
Such badges are typically worn for a finite period of time – often one year. While some are purchased by the department, many are bought by individual officers in order to ease any burden on the taxpayer. Some play a role in fundraising to assist police officer associations, historical societies, or even for officers injured on duty.
Just as important, anniversary badges enable a department to understand its history, to better appreciate its roots and to take pride in the community.
The badges themselves are die struck from either solid brass or nickel silver alloy due to their durability, polishing qualities and purity. As they aren’t plated, they are not subject to chipping or cracking. Coloring is done using a cloisonné enamel process which utilizes colored glass fired at 1500 degrees F which lasts for years.
Another important factor is the security of the dies used to manufacture the badges. Sun Badge makes badges for police departments all over the country including LAPD, Louisville Metro, and Denver PD, those dies are kept in a secure area with tight control maintained over who checks them out and how many are made. Each one is hallmarked so you can tell when it was made. That way you have a safeguard against your badges illegally making it into the market. Due to security issues you can’t just call them up and order a badge; a department would have to produce a letter from the sheriff giving them authorization to design and purchase the badge.
There are many different reasons why a department might have for celebrating an occasion; commemorating that celebration by creating a badge that an officer can wear has become a very popular option. Not only is the badge a morale booster, but it can also become cherished family heirloom.