Baltimore Police Service Ribbon

Baltimore City Police Historic Society's
Service Ribbon 

Baltimore City Police Historic Society's

Service Ribbon 

Service ribbon front and backF 72Baltimore Police Historical Society's BPD Service Ribbon

If we look around at various vets, we'll notice many of them wear some sort of Combat Ribbon patch, These patches tell us what campaigns they were involved in, and while it is a nice way for us to know where they served and give them a quick thanks for their service, it is more important for them to be able to look out and see a brother or sister that served in the same campaign or campaigns that they did. A few years ago and over the last few years, we had conversations with various members of the Baltimore Police Historic Society and designed our own Baltimore Police Service Ribbon. Our hope is that our retired and active will wear a patch on a ball cap, stick a decal on their rear car window, so when we see one of our brothers or sisters, we'll know of the service they gave and the sacrifices they and others have made. Service of any length past probation, as long as they are either in good standing with the department, or left/retired in good standing. 

1 black devider 800 8 72The Baltimore City Police Service Ribbon

1f awards full color

The Baltimore City Police Service Ribbonis a symbol of service, sacrifice, dedication, unity, and honor. It is a fitting tribute to the brave officers of this agency. This is why we put it together, added thought to the number of sections, the colors and placement of those sections. Our officers deserve to be recognized for their hard work, dedication and honor. That is what the Baltimore Police Service Ribbon does; it recognizes all those who have served with honor.

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service ribbon mock up back of card with outline

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Meanings of The Design in Our BPD Service Ribbon

1a awards grey

Under the muted gray, we can see where we are going. There will be nine vertical stripes in four different colors, each with a symbolic meaning:
 1b awards orange

We'll start with the four "Orange" stripes because our agency originally started with just four districts. Also, Orange goes back in our history for everything from the Calverts to our first commendation ribbons. We initially started using orange due to an error with the printer; the order was written up calling for "Or" and "Sable." The printer, thinking "Or" was an abbreviation for "orange," used orange, but "Or" is a "golden-yellow" color that is found in the Calvert family quarters of the Maryland flag. "Sable" is "black," also found in the Calvert quarter of the Maryland flag.  

1c awards black

The "black" stripe is in memory of our fallen officers. Not all of our fallen officers were recognized over the years; we are still finding officers that died while working, from work-related injuries, or from illnesses that were not added to the list of Baltimore's known fallen officers. I think the department recognizes somewhere around 140 or so. We found more than 200 fallen Baltimore City officers and have them all listed on this site.

They can be found HERE

1d awards red

The "red" stripes are to remind us of our injured and disabled. We have some of our injured listed on the site HERE, but they are not sent to us by the department; the only way we can list them is if the injured officer, their family, friend, etc. sends us their information. The majority of the information on this website originated from Bill Hackley's previous website; P/O Bobby Brown sent us some names, and as previously mentioned, other names came from the families, friends, and some former coworkers of our injured officers. If you would like to be added or know someone who should be added, send their name and as much information as you can gather to Kenny at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

1e awards blue

The "blue" stripes on the ends represent loyalty and are for the men and women who wear or have worn the uniform of a Baltimore City Police Officer. Also, the "blue" is on the ends to show that our officers are what hold it all together.

1f awards full color

Putting it all together, we have a unique Baltimore City Police Service Ribbon that will not only let us know when we are seeing another of our brothers or sisters, but will also serve as a reminder of our department's history, our service, our injured, and our fallen.

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Military Campaign Ribbons: Military Campaign Ribbons were first instituted and presented to recognize general military service in war, in contrast to meritorious decorations, which were only issued on a small scale for acts of heroism and bravery. The campaign ribbons were issued first by the British military with the medal awarded for the defeat of the Invincible Armada, with the 1815 Waterloo Medal being the first awarded to all men present and the 1847 Military General Service Medal being the first "modern" campaign medal.

Baltimore City Police Historic Society's Service Ribbon: Our BPD Police Service Ribbon is an award provided for individuals who took an oath to serve and protect the citizens of the City of Baltimore while sworn as a Baltimore Police Officer. To be eligible, one would have to have completed their service at any length past probation, as long as they are either in good standing with the department or have left or retired in good standing. If any of our officers were forced to leave early, it would have had to be for good cause. 

NOTE: As long as any early departure from our agency was not due to a termination or any reason that would tarnish the reputation of our agency, our officers, badge, or uniform, As we all know, our badge means so much to many; therefore, in cases of early departure, the eligibility to display this ribbon will be considered on a case-by-case basis. But to be clear, as long as an officer was not forced to leave or charged with a crime, they are and should be eligible to wear this with pride. Leaving for a different agency, for family, or just moving on is fine, so long as your service was respectful and your leaving was on good terms.

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Background: While out and about, I am sure we have all seen members of our armed forces proudly displaying some sort of service or campaign ribbons on their cap or jacket via a patch or on their vehicle by way of decal or sticker. These representations of their service ribbon are a way of letting other military personnel, active or retired, know what campaigns and battles the person displaying it had been involved in or served in. In this age of police haters, a thin blue line is not enough; we should have more. So the Baltimore Police Historic Society started not only working on making such a ribbon for our police, a ribbon that will not only let our brothers and sisters know we served, but it also serves as a way for our fallen and injured to continue on in our memories, making sure that will never be forgotten. 

Meaning: In order for any ribbon to have true meaning, it should have some kind of symbolism within the ribbon. Our Baltimore Police Historic Society's Service Ribbon was designed with that in mind. It was made up of a standard-size commendatory ribbon with nine vertical stripes. The nine stripes were added, one for each of the nine districts, at the time of its creation. The four orange stripes are representative of our first four districts; the color used is orange and is there to represent the Calvert Family's Coat of Arms. On each end of the ribbon, we've added a vertical blue stripe. Blue stands for unity and represents all of our police, past and present; being on the ends of the ribbon shows how our police have stood their ground, holding everything together. The two red stripes signify those members of our agency that have been seriously injured on the job, and then we have a single black stripe that has been placed prominently down the center of the ribbon. It is wider than any of the other stripes and made to have us all see it with hopes of either automatically thinking of and remembering our fallen or asking questions about our fallen; either way, it will aid in keeping our fallen brothers and sisters alive in our memories.

Like the Vietnam Service Ribbons and other Campaign Ribbons issued to our service members, the Baltimore Police Historic Society's Ribbons will honor all who have taken the oath of our agency, those that have displayed our patch on their shoulders, pinned on our badge, and patrolled our streets while looking for anyone that might be put with intentions of violating the rights of the citizens that live in the city of Baltimore.

AE 15738 Sample copy 72

Over the past 20 years, I have seen nothing but pride and honor from our retired and active police for the service they have provided or are providing to our city. So, we at the Baltimore City Police Historical Society put our heads together and designed our own Baltimore Police Service Ribbon. Our ribbon will be put on baseball caps, decals, patches, t-shirts, and other items such as buttons, mugs, pens, challenge coins, etc., with the goal of allowing us to show our pride. Now more than ever, we need to show our pride and hold our heads up in a way that will allow us to know who we are and what we have done. We made these very subtle. Even the patch, while it clearly says "SERVED WITH HONOR" and "BALTIMORE CITY POLICE," the average person not seeing a police shoulder patch or police badge will look right past this. Still, our active and retired friends will know who we are, and the pride we earned will be shown to those to whom it matters most.

The design seen above has meaning. We will go over the meaning of every line and color on the ribbon. Therefore, if you served on the Baltimore Police Force and left in good standing, you earned the right to wear the Baltimore Police Service Ribbon. Like other service or campaign ribbons worn by members of the armed forces that did their service in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. Baltimore Police Officers have not only earned the right to display such a ribbon, but they should also wear it with pride and honor. In short, it has 9 sections for the 9 districts; 4 are orange for the initial 4 districts we started out with; there are 2 red for our inquired, 1 black for our fallen, and the 2 blue on the ends are for all of our police that hold everything together.

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AE 15738 Sample copy 72

Ironing Instruction - Set the iron or heat press to 350 degrees. Align your patch on the hat, jacket, or shirt. Heat transfer tape would be best to hold the patch in place while ironing or pressing. With the iron or press heated to 350 degrees, press for 30 seconds. Once the iron or press is removed from your hat, jacket, or shirt, wait a few seconds. We normally wait 10 or more seconds to allow the patch to cool down some so it doesn't shift while moving it.

Note, you might find, "Heat Transfer Tapelisted as any of the following on Amazon: Heat Tape, Heat Resistant Tape, Heat Transfer Tape, Thermal Tape, Sublimation Tape, Heat Vinyl Press Tape, No Residue, or High Temperature Tape It's about $4.00 a roll but can be used on most patches as long as the patch has an iron-on backing. We normally have all of our patches made with the iron-on backing, as that backing also helps to preserve the patch due to the thick rubber-like backing.

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Decals

For now, we have access to decals that are 4" x 1.9" that we thought would be just a little larger than a 2x4 as we look at it from the end. But like a 2x4, its more like 3.5" by 1.25" We'll eventually have patches made, and maybe even an actual ribbon for use in a shadow box with all of the other ribbons we've earned over the years.

For the decals, there are two versions, one like this: BPD Service ribbon

and another like this AE 15738 Sample copy 72

Both are in the 4"  x 1.9" range 

Decals are $3.00 each, with no shipping costs. They are basically a fundraiser to help keep the site going; they pay for research, servers, domain names, etc. We are not looking to turn a profit from the site; truth be told, making money is more of a headache than it is worth, so every penny that comes through for any of this, including straight-up donations, goes directly toward paying in advance for servers, domain names, and newspaper archives. People who claim they can help us raise the kind of money that would even be sufficient to pay the site's administrators a salary have approached us on several occasions. Ken has turned that down every time. The nightmares of filing taxes are more than he wants to deal with, considering this is only his hobby, something he doesn't want to turn into a job. So if anyone is interested in helping pay for the servers (we use two, one for the site and one for the extra large picture files, mainly newspaper articles, large enough to read), if you want to contribute, send a donation or buy a decal, patch, or anything else you might like. 

https://www.paypal.me/BPDHistory

NOTEWe are also having decals made of the most common ribbons: the Commendation Ribbon, Distinguished Service, Life Saving Award, Bronze Star, Silver Star, Medal of Honor, Citation of Valor, Unit Citation, 1968 Riot Ribbon, and Safe Driving Awards. These will look nice in a shadow box or on the back windows of our cars. Again, most people won't know what they mean, but when we look on, if nothing else, we'll know it is one of our brothers or sisters, and it might keep us from running them off the road, jk, but it could help explain why they drive the way they do.

BPD SERVED WITH HONOR without police 2 72We're thinking of making an anonymous "Honor Ribbon" decale without the word "Police" for folks who wish to share their pride with fellow law enforcement while avoiding any unwanted attention from police haters. This design would still demonstrate that you served with honor and offer a nod to those in the know who may have also served, while avoiding potential problems from those who never served and lack any genuine respect for our service. 

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We’re excited to introduce our new Baltimore Police Ribbon, a symbol of service, honor, and dedication that has been recognized for nearly three years. As we transition it into an official uniform style ribbon, we understand that purchasing one’s own ribbon might feel unusual.

To address this, we’re introducing a unique approach where we can buy these ribbons for each other. Here’s how it works:

  1. Any officer can contribute funds to purchase as many ribbons and certificates as they wish.
  2. These funds will be used to send ribbons to other officers who have also contributed to the purchase of as many ribbons and certificates as they want.
  3. The process will be initiated by Ken, who, as the president of the historical society, will purchase a ribbon for the first officer who contributes and hasn’t been covered by other contributors. So, if an officer contributes but hasn’t yet received a ribbon, Ken will cover the cost of their ribbon and send them one.
  4. That said, if you have no concerns about buying the ribbon for yourself, or if a spouse wants to buy it for you, we have no issues with that. We believe we should all be proud of the service, honor, and dedicated service we provided. Most of us have scars that will last the rest of our lives, some of those scars are visible, some are not.

With this, we don’t have to buy our own ribbons. Instead, we’re acknowledging each other’s service to the Baltimore Police Department and to the city of Baltimore. The ribbon becomes a symbol of recognition from the rank and file: police, for police—the way it has always been.

We can maintain a list of officers who have received ribbons. If you know of an officer who should have one but hasn’t been listed as having received one, you can sponsor that officer, and we’ll send the ribbon to you so you can get it to them, or if you have an address, we can send it directly.

Remember, this isn’t just about the ribbons. It’s about acknowledging the service, honor, and dedicated service each of us has provided to the Baltimore Police Department and to the City of Baltimore. Let’s make it a symbol of our unity and shared commitment to having served Baltimore with honor.

For each donation, a 5x7 certificate on card stock and a ribbon will be sent to one of our retired or active police officers. Those who served the department but didn’t retire are eligible as long as they left on good terms.

 

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POLICE INFORMATION

Copies of: Your Baltimore Police Department Class Photo, Pictures of our Officers, Vehicles, Equipment, Newspaper Articles relating to our department and or officers, Old Departmental Newsletters, Lookouts, Wanted Posters, and or Brochures. Information on Deceased Officers and anything that may help Preserve the History and Proud Traditions of this agency. Please contact Retired Detective Kenny Driscoll.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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NOTICE

How to Dispose of Old Police Items

Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department. Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222

 

Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll 

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