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I was wondering what happens to a Officers badge once he retires. Does it sit at the Headquarters before a new officer is given it? Also do they just grab one of the badges out of a bin and give them to an officer?
07-22-12, 11:47 PM
The following applies for my agency. Mileage may vary between departments/agencies.
All of our badges are new when issued to academy graduates. Our numbers are assigned sometime before we graduate and stay with us for our career. When we retire, they take our badges and issue us a "retirement badge" that is smaller than the regular badge. Since all of our badges are issued new (while they re-issue badge numbers), I presume that they are disposed/recycled in some way.
07-23-12, 01:37 AM
Our badges have numbers on them. The senior most officer has 1, and it goes down with seniority. When we resign, we turn in our badge and it goes to the next junior officer. He then hands his to the officer junior to him, so on and so forth, until the last guy gives the chief the last badge which he'll give to the new hire.
In my last two agencies our badges contained a unique serial number that was issued to the individual officer and never reissued to any other officer. The cost of removing the serial number, affixing a new one and refinishing the badge is almost as much as purchasing a new one.
Under the circumstances, when an officer retires his dates of service and the word Retired are engraved on the back and he is given the badge.
07-23-12, 05:19 AM
At my agency, when you retire you keep your badge. You are issued a badge number when you are hired and no one else will ever get that number. The number starts with 1 and goes up. For example my number is in the 1000's my supervisor who has been with my department for nearly 30 years has a number in the 100's and the newer guys are in the 3000 range.
Badges get damaged and tarnished etc, and they are sent in to get replaced/refurbished through the badge companies "replacement" policy/contract.
Also our badges do not come with numbers on them, which is nice when somone wants our "badge number". We can say "FL, cant you read".
07-23-12, 06:54 AM
We quit issuing badges with numbers several decades ago, they only have "Officer" or otherwise the rank. They do have serial numbers on the back in case one gets lost or stolen, it can be traced back to the officer.
When we did have numbered badges, they were issued randomly. I was issued 500 (hated it, everyone remembered it) and had the system continued and I never been promoted, I would have had that same number my whole career.
If the badge is turned in (usually after a promotion) and is good shape, it will be reissued. Otherwise, it will be destroyed. Upon retirement, we turn in our badge and we are given a new one with "Retired (rank)" on it. They also have a serial number on the back.
Up until about 1990 or so, we could buy extra badges. I bought one with my badge number from the city to keep in my badge case so I could leave the other on my shirt or jacket. That one you could keep, I still have that extra badge with 500 on it. For some reason, they quit allowing that, I dunno why.
07-23-12, 09:42 AM
Our badges have serial numbers, but they're not "badge numbers." Until you're promoted, you keep the same badge. When you turn it in, it's given to someone else as needed. We have retired badges that seem to be given out based only on how well-liked you are at the time of retirement.
My department has two different designs of badges. The first is issued to new recruits. It is a generic police badge that is of a different design than the rest of the department. Once you get off of probation the department issues you two brand new badges. These new badges have the Officer's number on them and are more fancy.
The first badge is then recycled for new recruits. The permanent badge number stays with the Officer for their whole career, even if promoted. If promoted the officer will get a gold version of the same badge with the same number, but instead of "Officer" it will say Sergeant, Detective, LT and so on. Badge numbers are based on order hired since the city first started keeping track of paid marshals and officers with the first marshal being #1. The current lowest badge number is in the 500's.
When the Officer retires they keep their badge. The department usually takes one of the Officers badges and uses it in a framed retirement case that has the officers awards and rank insignia and such. If the Officer has any of the gold badges those will be included in the case as well.