Baltimore Police 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. 

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The Baltimore City Police Service Ribbon

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The Baltimore City Police Service Ribbon is 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 outline1 black devider 800 8 72Meanings 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 having 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, and we are still finding officers who 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, friends, etc. send us their information. The majority of the information on this website came from Bill Hackley's previous website, along with some names that P/O Bobby Brown sent to us and, as previously mentioned, additional names that family members, friends, and some former partners of our injured officers sent to us. 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.  

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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 brother or Sister officers, 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 Ribbon 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', 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 in any length past probation, as long as they are either in good standing with the department, or left/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, and 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, charged with a crime, they are and should be not just eligible but able 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 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/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 them 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 m
ade up of a standard-size commendatory ribbon with nine vertical stripes. The nine  stripes were added, one for each of the nine districts in place 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 which 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
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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 still 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 a 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” “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 will know who we are, and the pride we earned will be shown to those who it matters most.

The design seen above has meaning. we will, and have gone 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/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 a right to display such a ribbon, but they should wear it, and wear it with both 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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Ironing Instruction

Set 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/pressing. With Iron/press heated to 350 degrees, press for 30 seconds. Once the iron/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 Tape" listed 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 backing. We normally have all of our patches made with the iron backings, as that backing also helps to preserve the patch due to the thick rubber like backing.

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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.

Decals are $3.00 Each with No Shipping Costs They are basically a fundraiser to help keep the site going, research paid for 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 any of this goes toward paying in advance for servers, domain names and Newspaper Archives. We have been approached several times by those saying they could help us bring in the kind of funds that would even be enough to put together a salary for those running the site, Ken has turned that down every time, The nightmares of filing taxes is 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 pic files mainly newspaper articles, large enough to read) but if you want to contribute, send a donation, or buy a decal, patch or anything else you might like.

NOTE: We 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 window of our cars. Again, most people won't know what they mean, but when we look on if nothing else, we'll know it's one of our brother or sister officers.  

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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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Baltimore City Police
Historical Society Flag
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Click HERE to learn more about our Flag
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Click HERE to learn more about our Flag

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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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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