Commemorative Badge Programs

Thinking about a commemorative badge? As cities and public service departments reach commemorative anniversary dates, whether 25 years or 200 years, a new badge is a great vehicle for rallying the troops. It is a symbol that embodies years of service and dedication to the community, reflecting on the past while looking forward to the future. A commemorative badge becomes a physical piece of department history that will live forever, treasured by descendents of today's law enforcement and fire services personnel and sought by the collectors of tomorrow.

Putting together a commemorative badge program is a project that requires a little forethought in order to maximize the benefits and minimize the hassles. Based on Ed Jones Co. experience, the following major topic areas require consideration.

Decision Process
Most departments rely on a well-represented committee, involving rank-and-file, management, sworn and non-sworn as the circumstances predicate. The obvious caveat is the more individuals involved, the longer the process and higher likelihood of unresolved dissension. Consensus rarely occurs. Gather all relevant stakeholder input then either rely on a democratic process (majority rules), or the "Chief's" (or other command staffer's) ultimate decision.

Badge Design
Research historical badges worn by department personnel, consulting historians and collectors. Weigh historical features with new design concepts, combining the best of both. Be creative and distinctive, commemorating the past while creating history for the future. Consider precious metals and hand engraving for collector and heirloom value.

Funding and Order Logistics
Consider corporate sponsors to underwrite some of the cost. Use automatic payroll deductions over multiple periods to make employee purchases easier. Assign a "point person" to process orders and payments, interface with the manufacturer and disseminate badges.

Authorization
Consider whether legal opinion, board approval, city manager review or other oversight is necessary within the context of your organizational structure and past department precedents. Recognize sworn versus non-sworn issues will arise and both can be accommodated with appropriate badge design and lettering. Remember reserve and retired badge holders will also have interest.

Fund Raising Potential
Consider department mark-up as a revenue generating mechanism for special programs, such as: widows and orphans, K-9, training, equipment, yearbook creation, etc. Evaluate making a plaque-mounted version for civilian purchase and participation.

Hopefully this brief list of considerations helps get the creative juices flowing and the planning process started. Involve Ed Jones from the beginning to take advantage of our planning and design expertise and decades of experience. Let the Ed Jones Co. help you create an enduring piece of YOUR department's history.

The Ed Jones Co., copyright 2002.