An Exposition of Police Badge Policy: Ten Reasons in Support of a Single-badge

Souryal, Sam S.
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Texas Police Journal

Modern police departments allow for a variety of police badges, i.e., one for patrol officers, one for supervisors, one for detectives, etc. While the rationale behind this policy may have been embedded in tradition, its continuance may speak unfavorably to the department's managerial sophistication. In multiple-badge departments, badges vary from a basic stainless steel version which is small, crude, and of limited appeal, to a golden version which is larger and has ornaments attached to it. The reasoning behind this is certainly one that is motivated by a desire to signify rank or function, to stimulate motivation within the force, to make a better impression on the public, or a combination of all of these. Yet, despite the elegance of this reasoning, the policy may have a counter-effect on the overall performance of the department, and, if so, should be rethought.

An early version of an article published in Texas Police Journal in December of 1997
police badge, single-badge, empowering officers, institutional loyalty
Souryal, Sam S. (1997). An Exposition of Police Badge Policy: Ten Reasons in Support of a Single badge. Texas Police Journal, 45(12).