A Close Look At Behind The Badge As In How Badges Are Made At V& v Manufacturing
Nearly four decades ago, Everett Visk started his own badge-making company in his garage in Rancho Cucamonga with an order for less than $20 from a large badge manufacturer in Los Angeles.
Visk, now 82, had left his comfortable job at another large badge manufacturer to strike out on his own.
It was a wise move.
Steve Visk, of V& V Manufacturing, stamps oval blanks. Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge
Today, his company, V& V Manufacturing, is one of the most respected manufacturers of specialty custom badges in California, with law enforcement and fire service clients in Orange County and beyond.
One big reason is stellar customer service.
Unlike its competitors there are three other smaller badge makers like V& V in California, and a couple of huge ones on the East Coast Visks company can turn around badges within 24 hours.
Numerous public safety agencies have relied on V& V, which has been operating out of a 3,000-square-feet warehouse in City of Industry since 1982, to do so when officers and firefighters have been killed on duty, and they need an extra badge to be put in a shadow box.
Sometimes an officer or firefighter is buried in his or her uniform, and another badge is needed. V& V Manufacturing usually can make and deliver those badges in a day.
Steve Visk, 55, who runs V& V with his father, says its that commitment to customer service as well as the quality of V& Vs badges that sets his niche manufacturer apart from competitors.
The Modern Police Badge
The police badge has become the most recognizable icon of law enforcement officials. Its a tool to identify who the officer is, and what department theyre from. Some departments require officers to wear their badge in certain spots of their uniforms. You might see an officer wearing his or her badge on the left side of their uniform over the officers heart. Other departments dont have requirements and officers might wear theirs attached to a belt strap.
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Origin Of The Police Badge
The first idea of a badge was created long before modern law enforcement. The badge eventually became an identifier of authority within public servants, thus leading the way for police officers to distinguish their rank.
There are several theories on how the Police Badge evolved to what it is today. However, some historians speculate the first police badge came from London, England around 1845.
The Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, DC was created in 1861 by President Abraham Lincoln and patterned after the New York City Police Department. Additionally, the NYPD had been patterned after the City of London Police Department.
How Badges Are Made At The Smith & Warren Badge Factory
View the appearance of the Smith & Warren badge factory on the Science Channels How Its Made.
Ever since the days of the American Wild West, badges have been a way to tell the good guys from the bad. Sheriffs dont raise posses to maintain law and order anymore, but a badge continues to be a powerful symbol and simply flashing one can still stop a suspect cold.
The badge comes with the uniform, it identifies the officers rank and unit, so its an accessory that makes a statement. Each one is custom made. The client spells out the specifications on an order form, right down to the metal finish and the color of the lettering.
This machine delivers a powerful punch to cut sheriff star shapes from a coiled sheet of brass. They place a star shape in the steel mold of a press. It applies about a hundred and seventy thousand pounds per square centimeter to make an impression on the badge. A punch press trims the ragged edges to make it look neater. A mechanical stamper than inscribes the company name on the back of the badge.
Next, they brush enamel into the engraved lettering. The enamel is a mix of glass and water which comes from an ancient metalworking technique called Cloisonné. They fire the badge in a kiln and the glass enamel melts into the lettering. After it hardens, they grind the enameled sections against a stone to expose the inscriptions. They then polish the badge to a mirror finish.
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Where The Badge Is Worn
There is no general location where a police badge is to be worn. Each individual department will have different rules and regulations as to how the badge is to be used and where on the body it should be worn.
Some departments may not have any stipulations at all and therefore it can be worn wherever the officer wants. It may even be seen hanging off the officers belt in areas where no location is specified.
Law enforcement agencies will often reinforce the pockets that are being used to hold the badge, which will typically be on the front, left side of the uniforms.
This is because the badge is to sit on top of the police officers heart. The placement isnt random and may actually have some historical significance.
In the days of the knights, they would carry their shields, bearing their houses coat of arms, in their left hands.
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Police Building Oval Badge
The Azusa Police Department is currently wearing this badge which was issued in November 2001. As with the two previous oval badges, these badges were designed by Retired Lieutenant Jim Collins. These badges are only made by the Sun Badge Company. As of this writing the badges are identified by the following insignias or numbers:
- Chief has four stars
- Lieutenant badges are numbered 1 through 10
- Sergeant badges are numbered 1 through 20
- Corporal badges are numbered 1 through 19
- Detective badges are numbered 1 through 28
- Police Officer badges are numbered 201 through 261
- Police Reserve Officer badges are numbered 301 through 312
- Trainee badges are numbered 1 through 12
- Community Service Officer badges are numbered 1 through 10
- Police Aide badges are numbered 1 through 6
The Relevance Of The Badge Now
Those who carry a badge now carry with them responsibility and trust of the public to adhere to ethical standards and to serve and protect the community. The badge brings with it authority, honor and respect from all those who display it.
Realistically, though it stands for all the above, its main purpose is identification. Anyone wearing the badge is trusted as a legitimate police officer.
Since the badge has become such a universal symbol of authority it can be recognized quickly by anyone, regardless of where they are from or what language they speak.
This can be extremely beneficial as police officers deal with many people from all over the world.
Police officers also take pride in their work and their service to their communities. They are honored to wear their badge prominently and exhibit their position of leadership.
The police badge is not easy to obtain and serves as a beacon of light at the end of a long hiring process and intense training. Those who have made it through the hiring process then have to attend the police academy.
It is tough them physically and mentally so getting to the end of the road is a great moment for all those who make it. The effort is rewarded by issuing them with their police badge.
Once the training at the academy is done it is time for on the job training and eventually patrolling on their own.
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Gallery Of Canadian Forces Badges
The badges are distinctive symbols or emblems used to visually identify a military organization and foster the pride and continuity necessary for operational effectiveness.
Canadian Special Operations Forces Command
|Canadian Special Operations Forces Command|
2nd Canadian Division Support Base Valcartier
|2nd Canadian Division Support Base Valcartier|
3rd Canadian Division Support Base Edmonton
|3rd Canadian Division Support Base Edmonton|
4th Canadian Division Support Base Petawawa
|4th Canadian Division Support Base Petawawa|
5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown
|5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown|
Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake
|Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake|
Canadian Forces Base Goose Bay
|Canadian Forces Base Goose Bay|
Canadian Forces Base Moose Jaw
|Canadian Forces Base Moose Jaw|
Canadian Forces Base North Bay
|Canadian Forces Base North Bay|
Canadian Forces Station St John’s
|Canadian Forces Station St John’s|
Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery
|Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery|
The Corps of Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
|The Corps of Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers|
All requests to use a badge shall be made in accordance with the policies indicated here
For updates or questions about this page contact us under the subject “history and heritage” on this form.
The Story Of Fred White
Recent research suggests the original spelling, although incorrect, was deliberate.
Maintien Le Droit was the ancestral motto of Charles John Brydges, the managing director of the Grand Trunk Railway. Brydges was also a personal friend of Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald.
In 1866, Brydges organized a militia unit called the Grand Trunk Railway Regiment. The motto Maintien le Droit appeared on the militia’s badge.
The story takes an interesting turn with a young immigrant from England named Fred White. He was a clerk under Brydges at the railroad company’s head office in Montreal from 1862 to 1869.
In 1869, White became a clerk in the Department of Justice under the Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. He was also directly involved in the organization of the NWMP in 1873. In 1878, he was appointed the Comptroller of the NWMP, a position he held until 1913.
It’s possible Fred White borrowed the ancestral motto of his former boss to be the motto of the NWMP.
But due to the 1897 fire that destroyed his records, we can never know for sure and the true origins remain a mystery.
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Obsolete Badges And Patches
Chief Ray Blackmores presentation badge. Designed and built by jeweler Gus Millet, the badges center is set with a 1-carat diamond, surrounded by 20 smaller diamonds. The entire badge is made of solid 14-carat gold. After seven years as chief, department members and personal friends presented Chief Blackmore with the badge in 1954. Courtesy Chuck Blackmore.
Chief John Newton Blacks Presentation Badge. Adorned with an unpolished ruby in the center and surrounded by a unique blue enamel aura, Chief Blacks badge is among the most unusual badges of its time. The retirement ribbon was added in 1944. Courtesy of the John Proctor Collection.
Chief John Newton Blacks everyday badge. This eagle-topped shield was manufactured in the mid 1920s.
Unknown chiefs badge circa the late 19th century.
Captain of Detectives badge worn by Ray Blackmore during his tenure as head of the detective bureau until his promotion to chief of police in 1947.
Captain of Detectives Badge utilized from the 1930s-50s.
Inspector of Operations badge worn by Don Demers Sr. This position existed in the 1950s- early 60s and would be similar to todays Bureau of Administration Deputy Chief position. This office was responsible for policy, personnel, and statistics.
Detective Sergeant badge worn by some detectives from approximately the 1920s-1940s. Courtesy Mike Miceli.
Captain of Police badge, Utilized from approximately 1910-1940.
Gold presentation Sergeant badge. Courtesy John Proctor Collection.
Where The Police Badge Originated From & History Of The Badge
The iconic police badge. Its the universal symbol of the protector, the leader, and the service that is known the world over. With the badge comes respect but where did it originate?
Nowadays, we associate a badge with those in civil service like police officers and firefighters. Prior to the law enforcement system that we know today badges were used quite differently and for many means of identification.
Though we may assume badges are all silver stars or shields that adorn the chest of police officers, they cover a much broader spectrum.
The name badge can define anything that is used with prominence to identify someone, including name tags, emblems or pins.
The idea of being identified by a well-placed accessory was the idea that sparked the concept of the present-day badge the is worn by our law enforcement.
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Gold Seven Point Star Badge
There is no known record of when the Azusa Police Department changed its badge from the gold eagle top shield to the gold seven point star. The gold star badge was worn by Azusa police personnel until May 1989. There were three different manufacturers of the gold star. They were Entenmann, Entenmann-Rovin, and Sun Badge.
Notice the rank on the badge was changed back to Patrolman when these badges were issued.
Facts About Why The Police Wear Custom Badges
1. Did You Know The Initial Police Officers Were Medieval Knights?A lot of people arent aware of this, although theinitial police badges were the coat of arms worn by knights. These coats of arms acknowledged the knight and his allegiance to justice, chivalry and his noble leaders via being shown on his shield. Much like thepoliceof today who vowto guard and serve. Knights from the medieval time were frequently sworn in and required to Protect the weak, defenseless, helpless, and fight for the general welfare of all.
2. Are You Aware Why Law Enforcement Officers Wear Their Badge Above Their Left Chest Pocket?From time to time you see officersputting on their badges on their belts or on a pendantbut the majoritywear them above their left upper body pocket. Actually, on a law enforcement officers uniform the region above the left torso pocket is strengthenedthat will help secure the badge. But why are they worn here? Whenever a good law enforcement officer takes their oath, they are then provided a badge and its alsodeclared that it is worn over the heart for two mainpurposes first to be worn covering the heart to always and foreverhelp remindthem of their pledge to protect and secondlyfor the reason that left arm was the arm that frequently held the coat of arms shield of knights defending the heart and leaving behind the strong hand to fightusing a weapon.
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What Makes A Badge Collectible And Valuable
What makes antique badges collectible and valuable? As with any collectible there is an appreciation for the craftsmanship, quality, and history that is embedded within an artifact. Badges have a special place not just for the pure history, but also because they represent power, authority, justice, and sacrifice. The men and women who wore law, fire, and transportation badges all made sacrifices and braved the odds to do their jobs every day. By collecting these artifacts and tracing their history we can remember in some small way how America became a land of law, order, and self-sacrifice.
There are several attributes that typically comprise the value of an antique badge:
- Condition This is common sense to most collectors, but a badge that is in good condition will be worth more than one that is in poor condition. With some exceptionally rare and old badges some condition issues will not greatly devalue it, but generally badges were well taken care of and should be in good to very good condition for collectors.Note: Once common way to spot fake badges is corrosion, rust, rough texture, or pitting of metal that is either poor quality, or has been manipulated to look older.
- Eye Appeal This is purely subjective to the buyer and collector, but some badges just shout at you and catch your attention, while others fade to the back. This is what collecting is all about, find the things that strike you and get them.