Tuesday, 27 August 2013 01:43 Written by  Published in Justice Read 1094 times
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The Stars – The badge designed to be worn by the city police was yesterday (Monday 20 Oct 1851) mounted for the first time by Messra. Mckinley and Callaway, who is in special attendance at the hall of the Maryland Institute. It consists of the heavily gilded, brightly burnished six-point star, in the center of which is seen a correct representation of the Battle Monument, surrounded by the words “City Police,” and underlined with the date “1797” – the date of our city’s charter; The star is worn on the left the lapel of the coat, and is so conspicuous that he who runs may read.

Baltimore City Police Badges
Baltimore Police Badges

The Official Motto of the Department 

Established on November 9, 1880
"Semper Paratus, Semper Fideles, Ever on the Watch"



Badge Collection

 Patch Collection

BPD Helmets / Hats

BPD Patches

Known Badge Numbers

 Novelty Custom Badges


BPD Badges 1851-Present

   badge 1


October 20, 1851, the first known metallic badge worn by Baltimore Police Officers - a large six-pointed star with Baltimore's official city seal, The War of 1812 "Battle Monument" over the year 1797 (the year Baltimore City was incorporated) in an oval center. Within this oval center, across the top and sides are the words "City Police". Reissued in 1997 to celebrate our 200th anniversary, officers purchased this badge and wore it for that year only.

From a Baltimore Sun Article dated - 21 October 1851

The Stars – The badge designed to be worn by the city police was yesterday (Monday 20 Oct 1851) mounted for the first time by Messra. Mckinley and Callaway, who is in special attendance at the hall of the Maryland Institute. It consists of the heavily gilded, brightly burnished six-point star, in the center of which is seen a correct representation of the Battle Monument, surrounded by the words “City Police,” and underlined with the date “1797” – the date of our city’s charter; The star is worn on the left the lapel of the coat, and is so conspicuous that he who runs may read.

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 2nd. ISSUE

May 1, 1860, a new  "Metropolitan Police" force under a Board of Police  Commissioner's (BOC), state-appointed civilians, signaled the retirement of the "Corporation Police force" A new badge was authorized. This large oval badge with Roman "fasces", and an ax bound by wooden rods, as its central symbol. Across the top and sides of the "fasces" is a banner with the words "Baltimore Police" in raised letters.

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  badge 3

 3rd. ISSUE

June 22, 1862, a newly formed Police force appeared in a completely new uniform with a new series of badges. With the same center section of the first badge, and returning the designation of "City Police" surrounded by twenty small points encircled by a narrow rim.  NOTE: The 20 pointer was replaced by an order from the Commissioner. he said, "too many were in the hands of the citizens."  (Stated in an article in the paper from 1890.) This badge had meaning, as in Baltimore from 1846 o 1887 we had 20 Wards a point for every Ward, and a thin band around to represent the police that protects and hold it all together.

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4th. ISSUE

May 27, 1890, worn with a new uniform by all members of the force. This is a shield-shaped badge with the word "POLICE" across the top, Maryland seal in the center and a ribbon with the officer's number across the bottom. Sergeant's and above had an eagle on top of the shield. Lieutenants and above wore a badge gold in color. The eagle on the badges had a ribbon in its beak denoting the rank of the officer.

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   badge 5

5th. ISSUE    

4 April 1976 - Badge currently worn by Baltimore Police Officers. With exception to the Series 2 badge the word, Baltimore did not appear on any official Police badges. The Series 5 badge is similar to the Series 4 supervisors badge with a new center seal that is the same as worn on the patch. Police Officers and supervisors wear the same badge with the ribbon in the eagle's beak denoting the rank. Lieutenant's and above wear the same badge that is gold in color.  

The 5th  issue badge that is currently worn by BCPD was designed by Robert DiStefano, now a retired BPD Major. He made the drawings that were submitted to the committee for approval, and subsequently to the manufacturer.  

Police  Commissioner Donald D. Pomerleau was given two designs that he had drawn, one was more of an OVAL BADGE, and the one that he personally liked. He designed the current badge to be somewhat "different" than the classic "Eagle on Shield" design.  

He says he purposely made the eagle's wings too high in proportion and squared off, sort of boxy. He wanted the committee to pick the oval, he lost!  

Police Commissioner Pomerleau like the "traditional" "Eagle on Shield." That's how we lost a really nice looking, more modern badge. He says that the chosen design grew on him!  

He also worked on the design team that did the Departmental Sword. Along with Sergeant Bill Stone, he worked on the etchings for the blade. He was in Colonel Karner's office when he met with representatives of Wilkinson Sword. He has sword # 4. 1976 - 4 April 1976 - the 5th. Issue badge came along and is the Badge currently worn by Baltimore Police Officers to this day. With exception to the 2nd Issue badge the word, Baltimore did not appear on any other official Police badge. The 5th Issue badge is similar to the 4th Issue "Supervisor's" badge with a new center seal that is the same as worn on the large shoulder patch and considered our official department emblem.   

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badge 5  Buy a set of 1 thru 4 Issue badges direct from Irvin H. Hahn
Click HERE or on the ad above
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Policy 1501
Date Published 25 March 2017
By Order of the Police Commissioner
1. Professional Appearance. Members of the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) in Good Standing may purchase at their own expense a duplicate BPD police badge for professional use to enhance their personal appearance in uniform.
2. Honoring Distinguished Service. It is the policy of the BPD to honor certain members by retiring their police badge of authority, and/or allowing members to retain their badge of authority as a memento. If retired, a badge will never be worn again by another member of the BPD.
3. Token of Appreciation. This policy allows members to retain their personally purchased badge of authority as a memento of service to the citizens and communities of Baltimore City upon promotion or separation from service in Good Standing.
4. Retired Members. Members who retired in Good Standing prior to the publication of this policy may purchase police badges with the same rights and restrictions as active members.
5. Accountability. All personally purchased badges defined in this policy are intended for the professional and/or personal use of the member. No badges may be sold, traded or otherwise exchanged. Violations of the provisions of this policy may lead to disciplinary action inclusive of the revocation of the right to purchase additional badges. Members who have their police powers suspended are strictly prohibited from using any personally purchased badge to identify themselves as a law enforcement officer in or out of uniform.
Good Standing – A status of a current law enforcement officer who does not have any open or unresolved administrative complaints or criminal charges relating to his/her police employment that likely would result in termination of employment. A status of a former law enforcement officer who was not dismissed from police employment for actions that violated the mission, vision and core values/code of ethics of the BPD, and/or who did not have any open or unresolved administrative complaints or criminal charges that likely would have resulted in termination of employment at the time of separation from BPD service.
Issued Police Badge ─ Curved badge with a pin and clasp on the rear. Badges issued to police officers, detectives, and sergeants shall be nickel in color. Badges issued to lieutenants and above shall be gold in color. All badges shall be individually numbered on their face.
Miniature Badge ─ Curved badge with a pin and clasp on the rear, identical to the Issued Police Badge except smaller in size.
Plaque Badge ─ Flat badge with a screw protruding from the rear, otherwise identical to the Issued Police Badge. This badge is designed for mounting on a display plaque, shadow box, etc.
Police Badge ─ Curved badge with a pin and clasp on the rear, identical to the Issued Police Badge. Individually purchased Police Badges are engraved with the sequence number of the purchaser on the rear of the badge.
Retired Badge ─ Curved badge with pin and clasp on the rear, identical to the Issued Police Badge except that the word “RETIRED” appears in place of the badge number.
Wallet Badge ─ Flat badge with a clip on the rear, otherwise identical to the Issued Police Badge. This badge is designed and intended to be carried in a wallet, on a badge clip, or neck lanyard for identification purposes.
GENERAL - Issued Police Badge
1. Every sworn member of the department shall be issued a badge of authority which shall be carried at all times while on or off-duty, except for (1) special operational reasons at the direction of the member’s commanding officer or (2) when the member, off-duty, is engaged in such activities as a prudent person would reasonably conclude the carrying of a badge to be inappropriate.
2. Every sworn member shall furnish his/her name and badge number to any person upon request.
3. Uniformed members shall display their badges on the outermost garment, over their left breast.
4. Plainclothes officers and detectives, while acting in their official capacity at the scene of a serious crime or other police emergency where their identity should be known, shall affix their badges in a similar manner on the left side of their outer garments, or wear them around the neck on a secure chain or similar device. This does not apply to investigations in which they must perform their duties in an inconspicuous manner.
5. A personally purchased BPD police badge may be worn to supplement the wearing of the Issued Police Badge (e.g., wearing the issued badge on the uniform shirt and the personally purchased badge on the winter coat or sweater).
Wallet Badge
May be carried in a wallet, on a badge clip, or neck lanyard for identification purposes when not in uniform.
Miniature Badge
1. May be carried in a wallet, on a badge clip, or neck lanyard for identification purposes when not in uniform.
2. May not be worn in uniform in place of a full size badge.
Plaque Badge
Shall be used as an ornamental display, mounted on a plaque, shadow box, etc.
Retired Badge
May be used for identification purposes by retired members.
Purchasing Badges
Active Duty Member
1. Complete the Badge Application Form, 118 (see Appendix A) and submit it to your Commanding Officer for approval.
2. Deliver the approved Badge Application Form to the Quartermaster Unit for approval. No badges shall be sold without final approval from the Quartermaster Unit.
3. Deliver the approved Badge Application Form to: Irvin H. Hahn Co. Inc., 1540 Ridgely Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230, along with payment for the badge(s) purchased.
4. Members may purchase one of each of the listed badges for every rank/title attained.
EXAMPLE: Officer Smith, Police Badge# 415 may purchase one Police Badge #415, and one Wallet Badge #415. Upon promotion to sergeant, Officer Smith is issued Sergeant Badge # 81. Officer Smith may retain his personally purchased police badges, and purchase a Sergeant Badge #81 and a wallet, plaque, and/or miniature badge as desired.
EXAMPLE: Sergeant Jones, Sergeant Badge #321 may purchase one Sergeant Badge #321, and one Police Officer Badge #4141 which was his/her assigned badge number prior to promotion.
Retired Member
1. Complete the Badge Application for Retired Sworn Members Form, 120 (see Appendix B or click HERE ).
2. Affix a copy of your retired BPD identification card to the form in the appropriate space.
3. Scan/Email the completed form to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
3.1. Approved forms shall be returned via email to the submitting retiree and directly to Irvin Hahn Co. Inc.
3.2. Disapproved forms shall be returned via email to the submitting retiree.
4. When notified that the approved form has been received by Irvin Hahn Co. Inc., make arrangements directly with Irvin Hahn Co. Inc. for payment.
5. Irvin Hahn Co. Inc. will only process approved applications received directly from the BPD Human Resources Section.
Presentation and Retirement of Badges
1. The City of Baltimore recognizes and appreciates the service and dedication of all members of the BPD. However, there is a small, select group of members within the BPD for whom service and dedication have an entirely different meaning.
2. Some members have sacrificed their lives in service to our community. It is fitting that their badges be retired as a final tribute and honor to them and those they have left behind. Others have given 45 or more years of service to the City of Baltimore, a measure of loyalty and allegiance far exceeding what is typical or required for retirement.
3. As a tribute to every member who has given his/her life, or who shares such a sizable portion of life with the City of Baltimore, the BPD will permanently retire and/or present his/her Issued Police Badge to the member or their family. In so doing, the extraordinary efforts made by these members will forever be memorialized in their most recognizable symbol – their badge of authority.
4. The Police Commissioner reserves the right to honor an exemplary service record of a member with the retirement or presentation of his/her badge of authority under additional circumstances.
5. Members making the ultimate sacrifice in service to our community, or members completing 45 years of service or more as a member of the BPD, shall be honored by:
5.1. Their Issued Police Badge of authority being “retired” by the BPD. The badge and cap device shall be presented to the member or the member’s family.
5.2. Members retiring with 45 years or more of service shall also be issued a BPD Retired Badge with the word “RETIRED” in place of the badge number.
6. Members who have completed 30 years of service or more as a member of the BPD shall be honored by:
6.1. Their Issued Police Badge of authority and cap device shall be presented to the member or the member’s family.
NOTE: In this circumstance, the BPD may re-issue a new badge and cap device displaying the same number to another member of the BPD.
6.2. Members retiring with 30 years or more of service shall also be issued a BPD Retired Badge with the word “RETIRED” in place of the badge number.
7. Submit an Administrative Report, Form 95 via official channels requesting the retention of your badge and cap device upon retirement when the above achievements have been satisfied.
8. Upon retirement, the numbered badge shall not be carried and displayed for identification purposes. Only the Retired Badge with the word “RETIRED” on the face of the badge may be carried and displayed for identification purposes.
Reporting Requirements
1. Immediate notification to your permanent-rank supervisor is required if any issued or purchased badge is lost or stolen.
2. Complete an Administrative Report, Form 95 detailing the circumstances and submit it to your permanent-rank supervisor.
3. Obtain a central complaint number (CC #) and author an Incident Report for lost or stolen property.
4. Notify the Hot Desk for entry into NCIC.
Replacing a Lost or Stolen Badge
Approval to purchase a replacement badge for a badge which has been lost or stolen shall only be granted by the Police Commissioner, or designee, upon receipt of the required reporting.
Permanent-rank Supervisor
1. Forward Badge Application Forms to the commanding officer for approval/disapproval.
2. Review/forward reporting for lost or stolen badges to your commanding officer and enter the event into Blue Team.
Commanding Officer
1. Certify that requesting members are in Good Standing with the BPD.
2. Approve/disapprove Badge Application Forms in a timely manner.
1. Upon order of the Police Commissioner, retire the appropriate badge and cap device.
2. Issue badges/cap devices to members or members’ families as described above.
3. Maintain a database of all Police Badges, Wallet Badges, Miniature Badges, Retired Badges, and Plaque Badges issued to members.
4. Approve requests for Police Badges, Wallet Badges, Miniature Badges and Plaque Badges when:
4.1. The requesting member’s parent command approves the request verifying that the member is in Good Standing with the BPD, and
4.2. Confirmation is received that the requesting member has not previously purchased the badge requested.
5. Deny requests that do not meet the above criteria.
Human Resources Section
1. Conduct a background investigation for applicants submitting Badge Application for Retired Sworn Members, Form 120 to determine if the applicant retired in Good Standing.
2. Approve/Disapprove Badge Application for Retired Sworn Members, Form 120 based on a Good Standing determination.
3. Scan/Email approved forms to the submitting retiree and to Irvin Hahn Co. Inc.
4. Scan/Email disapproved forms to the submitting retiree.
A. Badge Application Form, 118
B. Badge Application for Retired Sworn Members, Form 120
Remove and destroy/recycle Policy 1501, Retirement of Police Badges, 21 February 2017.
This policy is effective on the date listed herein. Commanders are responsible for informing their subordinates of this policy and ensuring compliance.

Retired Badge Application Form 120 72rubber stamped

 For form 120 Retired officer's Badge click HERE  
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Here's a short list of all the badge dates
1st Issue 20 October 1851
2nd. Issue 1 May 1860
3rd. Issue 22 June 1862
4th. Issue 27 May 1890
5th. Issue 4 April 1976

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Badge 1797

Seeger & Gminder versions of the 3rd Issue Badge

Badge A - In the 1862 Seeger Version the Statue's arm is bent at a wide angle away from her body

The Seeger Die is made from two pieces, and if you look close at the base of the monument you'll find no words or names. Also, the angle of the monument is a slightly different it almost looks larger than the Gminder version. Two more points to notice, in this version the rope that goes around the monument, inside the 20 points has tighter strands giving more detail to the rope, and the number 1797 are a different font, look at the number "1" on the 1797 and you'll see this one is flat whereas the other has a serif type tail coming from it. The last thing to look at is the stippling behind the monument, this one has a smooth consistent stippling, where badge B has an inconsistent tooling pattern. 

Badge B - In the 1870's Gminder Version the Statue's arm is held at an angle more tight to her body
The Gminder Die was made in one piece, and in you look close you'll find two words, on the left "Jacob," and on the right "Gminder." The angle of this monument seems smaller, almost as if it is further away. Two more points to notice, in this version the rope that goes around the monument, just inside the 20 points has wider strands giving less detail to the rope, and the number 1797 is a different font, look at the top of the number "1" in this version (Badge B) there is a serif type tail coming from the top and front of the number 1, whereas the other has a smaller almost flat front. Now let's look at the background of both badges, Badge A has a fine consistent stippling, while this badge (Badge B) is a more handworked heavily tooled creating a less consistent pattern.

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sharp badge block under arm

Above it the 4th Issue badge if you look at the badge you'll see in badge #1 the fisherman's side you'll see he is leaning cleanly against the escutcheon, wherein the #2 badge the fisherman appears to be leaning on some sort of box or added ledge This dates the badge, any badge that falls into the group looking like badge #1 was made between 1890 and 1936. - Badge number falls between 1936 and 1976 when they came out with the 5th Issue badge. The ledge was made in 1936 after the mold cracked, and the ledge was added when they made repairs to the mold

Badges made from  1890-1936 and 1936-1940's. The 1890's have a difference in the die, after 1936, there was die change which is quite minute. On the first die, Badge #1 the figure on the right (The Fisherman) of the coat of arms has his elbow resting cleanly on the top corner point of the escutcheon, whereas on the second die Badge #2, everything is the same with the exception of the fisherman's elbow which appears to be leaning on some sort of box, or added ledgebelow supporting his arm. That ledge/box was added due to a die or mold break/fracture that occurred in 1936. Also on the upper ranking badges, Sgt on up there was an eagle atop the badge, with a ribbon in his bill that revealed his rank. From 1890-1940's, that eagle was applied separately, after the 1840's the badges have a flatter less detailed eagle.   

*Information provided by Police memorabilia collector Steven Rosenstock

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Have a Wooden Badge Made

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Click the word HERE or the pic above to go to the page

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The Maryland Coat of Arms first made it's appearance on the Baltimore Police badge on 20 Aug 1886 - below is more information on that coat of arms

The reverse (at right) consists of an escutcheon, or shield, bearing the Calvert and Crossland arms quartered. Above are an earl's coronet and a full-faced helmet. The escutcheon is supported on one side by a farmer and the other a fisherman. It symbolizes Lord Baltimore's two estates: Maryland, and Avalon in Newfoundland. The Calvert motto on the scroll is "Fatti Maschii Parole Femine," which is usually translated " Manly Deeds, Womanly Words." The Latin legend on the border (the last verse of Psalms 5 from the Vulgate) is translated "with favor wilt thou compass us as with a shield." The date, 1632, refers to the year the Maryland charter was granted by Charles I, King of England, to Cecilius Calvert, second Lord Baltimore. The obverse (left) of the Seal shows Lord Baltimore as a knight in full armor mounted on a charger. The inscription translated is "Cecilius, Absolute Lord of Maryland and Avalon, Baron of Baltimore."

Photos courtesy of  Retired Major Robert DiStefano

badge 1858i i 

Photos Courtesy of Ret. Det. Leo Smith 

New Badges for City Officers

City police will adopt a new badge this Sunday, replacing the old one (right) that they have worn for 86 years. The new Badge is a multi-color adaptation of the reverse of the Great Seal of Maryland with the official emblem of the department in the center. 

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~Sword of Honor~”  

Commemorating the 200th. ANNIVERSARY   

of the  


These swords were made available in 1984 to members of the department. The sword is 34” in length. Made by the Wilkinson Sword Company in England. The blade is engraved with all the important events of the Baltimore Police Department and that of Baltimore from 1634 thru the end of 1976. The blade also has engraved the 5 badges that the department has used since their beginning.  

The sword pictured here is #58 of only 152 made, it was originally owned by Thomas B. Badlik then apparently sold to Sgt. Thomas Bradley of the Traffic Division, Motorcycle Section who attended his Final Roll Call. After this Bill Hackley obtained it and had it in his personal collection until his passing  

The original price of the sword was $278.00 There were 152 made, the #1 going to Commissioner Bishop Robinson.(Actually the office of the Police Commissioner) #152 went to the Baltimore Police Dept. Museum.  

British Ceremonial Imports Ltd.  

The Baltimore Police Sword is manufactured from a 10th Century  

Knightly model of which there were a large number of styles befitting his station.  

The 10th Century sword was a straight and not a very long-bladed weapon, with a simple cross-shaped quillon and a relatively short grip terminated by a bell-shaped or round pommel.  

Towards the 13th Century, the blade became longer and the grip larger. While the pommel assumed a great variety of shapes ranging from a simple ball, a Norman-like helmet to a disc, a mushroom-shape, a semi-circle or a crenelated boss. *  

*BOSS - A circular prominence; a knob or projecting ornament.


Swords similar to the Baltimore Police Sword with cross-shaped quillons are found everywhere in the West, used by fighting men from the Northern European countries to the Mediterranean and even as far as North Africa and the Sahara, where the     TOVAREGS still nowadays use a similar type.


  Wilk Sword 


Sole Distributor

Baltimore Police Department 200th Anniversary Commemorative Sword of Honor With our permission, Wilkinson Sword Limited of London, England, U. K. will be honored to manufacture, in a single world-wide limited edition, made available only to members of the Baltimore Police Department, and under no circumstances made available to the general public a limited edition commemorates the history of the Baltimore Police Department. The sword, which is of intrinsic value in terms of sentiment and in line with the tradition of one of the oldest uniform services, is symbolic of authority. It is also symbolic of our tradition. It occupies a significant place in the statue of justice, where the sword is held in one hand and the weighing scales in the other.

The world-renowned sword smiths of Wilkinson Sword Limited of London, England, will hand forge the Baltimore Police Department 200th Anniversary Commemorative Sword of Honor This modern presentation sword will be approximately 30 inches in length.- Its blade will be hardened and tempered. The cross piece, shell guard, and pommel will be heavily plated in 18 ct. gold. The grip will be made of Rosewood and will be hand French polished to a mirror finish. On the sword's blade, the swordsmiths will make historical etchings of the Baltimore Police Department, its artifacts directly relating to the history of same. The limited edition will be individually numbered, commencing with number 001 which will be presented to the Commissioner of Police. To accompany the sword will be a numbered certificate of Authenticity. The names and addresses of each recipient will be entered into the registers of British Ceremonial imports Limited for all time. The Baltimore Police Department 200th. Anniversary Commemorative.  

Sword of Honor will be a legacy of history, which can be passed along to future generations of families, to serve as a reminder of the recipient's participation in the Baltimore Police Department. The recipient will also take pride in owning one of the finest examples of craftsmanship ever created; the artistry-in-steel, a rare and unusual showpiece which can be exhibited and enjoyed.  

The sword will be made available exclusively through a designated official of the Baltimore Police Department, on a first come first served basis. Prompt action in ordering will result in securing the lowest registry number. Anyone interested in purchasing a sword, please contact the Director, Property Division, 396-2575. An example sword made for the Marine Corps by Wilkinson Sword is on display in the Museum.  This information was from the original brochure for the BPD Commemorative Sword furnished by Retired Major Robert DeStefano





NOTE: This has a pin & catch on the reverse.   

There is wear to this badge, however, there were never any star points applied due to the lack of solder on the reverse.

*Rumor says this may have preceded the star as the first badge. Only a few of these exist.

Actual Baltimore Police badge was worn by Detective Albert Gault, who was a Baltimore City Policeman and Detective from 1866, when he joined the force, until his death in 1900. Detective Gault was a celebrated Detective who was involved in numerous cases during his tenure. The book, entitled "Our police: a history of the Baltimore force from the first watchman to the latest appointee", by De Francais Folsom. Chapter X has about twenty pages detailing some of Detective Gault’s cases.  

1890 baltimore badge 4

      4th issue badge 408      

Above is the early issue badge

  Below is the later version after the mold had broken and was reinforced. Note the shelf under the fisherman's arm on the right arm

later issue

Below is a matched set of wreaths and a badge dating from 1890 through 1915 and afterward. These were assigned to Officer James E. Schmidt of the Northern District. Officer Schmidt was appointed in 1894 and served until 1923. Featured are his original badge# 682, the 1880 type wreath# 682, and the 1896 wreath# 682 and the 1915 hat device# 682 that is still in use today.


  Above is the badge being issued around 1890  

Badges were made by the Irvin Hahn Company, Baltimore, Maryland
Still in Business to this day suppliers of our awards, Medal of Honor and Valor



  Above the Wreath style of 1880-1896


Below the Wreath style of 1896-1908



  Above is the style of hat device 1908 - Present


    sergeant 1920s      


Sergeant’s badge from the 1920’s. The earlier construction of these badges had a separately detailed eagle mounted on the top. Note the talons overlapping the top rim of the badge. This denotes an 1890 pattern.


      early sgt badge    


      retired lieut 1920s-2    


A very rare early 1900’s period Lieutenant’s gold badge. This early style of badge had the detailed eagle separately applied to the top. Notice the overhanging talons grabbing the edge. The lettering is hard enamel and stone ground to make the lettering flush with the surface. This was an option Hahn Company offered with their badge construction. This was the most expensive way to     produce the badge

   early detective

       Early DETECTIVE Badge with applied number (above)

   1st issue patch

     Original shoulder patch of the 1950's

  Another interesting set including the very early issue badge #187 and the matching hat devices used from 1880 through the present day.





      Photos courtesy of Retired Major Robert DiStefano
Medal of Valor, and the Legion of Merit.


1chief inspector




4th.issue Det.Lt.Retired
4th issue badge 408






5th police spouse badge


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BaltimoreCaptainBADGE 450

Friday Aug 20, 1886 new badge
New badges for the police captains – today the captains of the police force of the city will appear with new badges. The police board having issued an order to that effect. For some time past, Marshall Frey states, the captains have complained that their old badges were identical with the badges worn by nearly every private detective or watchman in the city. The old badges were simply a star within a circle, with the words “Capt. of police” on the rim. The new badges are much more elaborate and are very handsome. The form is a shield, about 2 ½ inches long and 2 inches wide. Of silver. The Maryland Coat of Arms is and blazoned on the face. An “eye” is engraved over the coat of arms. The word “Capt.” appears below. The new badges were made by Mr. John W. Torsch. Marshall Fray says that the force being a state institution, he thought it appropriate to have placed the Maryland coat of arms upon the badge. He further says that the “eye” is intended to remind the captains that their duty is to be always on the alert.

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1890 baltimore police
























Badges Baltimore Police

baltimore police harbor patrol boat engineer

bpd badge collage

BPD Commendations

bpd medals

BPD Memorial2 










captain badge

captain hat device



chief inspector






constable balto city peoples court-1


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detective 237

Detective Badge 1840

detective licensed

district commander


early detective


civil defense badge 

This is an Obsolete Civil Defense Patrolman Badge for the City of Baltimore. The badge is stamped metal with an Eagle over a shield. The center of the shield has an enameled roundel with the Civil Defense emblem on a blue background. Around this is Patrolman and Baltimore. "BASTIAN BROS/CO/ROCHESTER NY".These badges were intended for police personnel acting under Civil Defense authority in an emergency situation and are a neat Cold War memento.  

  1920 park police
Courtesy Patrica Driscoll
1920 Park Police Matching Badge and Hat Device

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badge 5

Retired Badges

There were said to have been four retired Baltimore City Police Badges, well three but Ken found a 1957 newspaper article in which the commissioner swore a 6-year-old boy as a Baltimore Police officer issued badge number 390. Within a year of this swearing in the young boy died, at his funeral were politicians, the police commissioner, and more than 6 uniformed Baltimore officer, they gave the boy a full police funeral six officers acting pallbearers. On 30 January 1957 as Commissioner James Hepbron gave his speech he announced the young Officer Vincent Felicebus, Jr's badge #390 would be retired and never again used by any officer of the Baltimore Police. - We are not 100% sure, and only recently did we start to research on the retired badges, their numbers and the officers that carried them before their having been retired. Of the three badges, we heard of on 6 May 2018, and I should point out that, before 6 May 2018, both Ken and I only thought badges were retired to officers that had made the ultimate sacrifice. Right after Commissioner DeSousa retired Ken's badge, we went to the Candlelight vigil, and someone approached Ken asking how many others had their badge numbers retired. Officer Bobby Brown, answered for Ken, telling the guy there were four. [Bobby later corrected that number saying there were only three, including Ken. Ken thinks it should be four, because of a newspaper article he found in the Baltimore Sun mentioned earlier in this paragraph.

At the candlelight vigil the same guy; and I am sorry I did not get his name or recognize him. Other than to know he knew Ken, or at least, by the way, they greeted each other, it seemed they were friends. Anyway, he asked Ken if he knew any of the others that have had their badges retired, and again Officer Brown answered, saying the officers, he knew of were "Mad Dog," Ken said, Mad Dog, is Detective Albert Marcus. At that point, we knew or believed we knew that there were five officers, and we had the names now of two of the three identified. We just need the numbers of the other two badges [Det Marcus, P/O McAndrew]. Ken turned to his favorite source of information and learned of Officer John McAndrew - retired 30 June 2011 - Badge retired by Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III. After McAndrew, came Detective Al Marcus - retired 5 March 2016 - Badge retired by Commissioner Kevin Davis. Then came Ken's - Detective Badge #550 retired 6 May 2018 by Commissioner Darryl DeSousa. Retired before any of these occurred in 1957 when 6-Year-Old Honorary Officer Vincent Felicebus, Jr - Passed Away 30 January 1957 when Badge # 390 was retired by Commissioner James Hepbron. We were contacted by the son of a retired officer, who himself served with the Baltimore Police, and he told Ken his father retired under Bishop Robinson, circa 1967/68 after 35 years service and at the time of his retirement Commissioner Robinson told his dad he would have his badge, badge number 23 retired so as far as they know Retired P/O Edward A. Panowitz Sr, had badge number 23 retired in his honor by Commissioner Bishop Robinson

Ken found this and the young boy almost instantly in his first search, and a second article which made Ken realized was the fourth retired badge of the four badges, and we know this because in the article the writer wrote,

"McAndrew's official police badge will be retired, only the third such badge to be removed as a form of honor and recognition."

If McAndrew had no one before him, he was obviously #1, Det. Marcus retired after P/O McAndrew, so he had to be #2, and Ken just happened, so that was easy enough for #3. Police Officer, Vincent Felicebus, Jr, was an honorary officer, to Ken, this puts young officer Felicebus in as number one, and moves the rest of the list each down by one, So now McAndrew was second, Al Marcus third, and Ken fourth.

As with everything we do, we could use our readers help. If you know anything about any of the retired badges, We could use actual badge numbers for the officers. But, until then, we all know it takes a lot to get any kind of recognition, so as Ken said, at least 4 of them had to have been extra special.

Also, if you know of a different name, maybe Number #1 isn't for an honorary police officer, other than Ken's and McAndrew we really don't have any documentation or info on the others. We have one more newspaper article, but it doesn't say the badge was retired, with that though I did talk to his son who said it was retired, technically, he didn't say it was retired, all he said was he has the retired badge and the badge with his dad's badge number. I figure the only way to have the badge with the numbers on it, and a guy that served 50 years, if it wasn't retired, it should be. There were a lot of stories about the six-year-old that passed away, Commissioner Hepbron gave him the badge a year before his passing, and when he passed, The Commissioner attended his funeral, had uniformed officers stand in as pallbearers. There were several other politicians also in attendance.


The Baltimore Sun Sun Feb 3 1957 Edit272

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Retired Badges

There are said to be four retired police badges, we are not 100% sure of the four, but know of a possible fifth badge. From what we do know, and have heard, five badges have been retired, four for our officers, and a six-year-old honorary police officer.

Honorary Police Officer 6-Year-Old Vincent Felicebus, Jr - 30 Jan 1957 - P/O Badge # 390 - Commissioner James Hepbron

Retired P/O Edward A. Panowitz Sr, 1968 - P/O Badge # 23 - Commissioner Bishop Robinson
Retired P/O John McAndrew - 30 June 2011 - Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld III                                            
Retired Det Al Marcus - 5 March 2016 - Commissioner Kevin Davis
Retired Det Kenneth Driscoll - 6 May 2018 - Det. Badge # 550 - Commissioner Darryl DeSousa

50 years Retired badge number 30 Jun 2011


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Last modified on Wednesday, 21 October 2020 20:19
Baltimore Police Historical Society

Baltimore Police Historical Society put the articles found on this site together using research from old newspapers, old books, old photographs, and old artifacts. We rely more heavily on information written at or near the time of the incidents or events that we are researching. We do not put too much weight on the more recently written historic information, or information that has been written with a biased opinion, or agenda. We will not tell our readers what to think about our past, as much as we will tell a story as it was written with the hopes of our readers forming their own opinions. We tell a story about what happened, and not why it happened. That said, ever so often we might come across a story that to us is so exciting we might express that enthusiasm in our writings. We hope the reader will still form an opinion of their own based on the information written at the time, and not information more recently written that has a so-called "filtered past" that has been twisted and pulled in the direction of a storyteller's personal agenda.