Since its founding in 1953, the Waterford Police Department has issued three official badge styles. This page documents the different styles of badges that have been issued over the years, along with a brief history of each. To view larger images, simply click on the thumbnail images below.
The numbers on the badge do not mean what most people think. When the department was founded, the badges were purchased in matching sets, with two breast badges and one hat badge comprising a full set. The original badges, series one, were numbered sequentially. They were issued to officers by seniority, with badge number one going to the most senior patrolman. This system does not reflect the employee's actual "badge number" as is commonly believed.
As officers were retired or promoted, badges were exchanged among employees to reflect their current position in seniority. This practice continued with series two and three badges until 1999, when it was finally abandoned. In 2000, the department began to issue badge sets to newly hired officers with their actual badge number on it. The rank was officially changed from PATROLMAN, to PATROL OFFICER (briefly) to POLICE OFFICER.
Current issue badges, which are series three, are mixed between the old seniority number system and the newer actual badge number system. In addition, current series three badges carry "patrolman," "patrol officer," and "police officer" designations.
Click on any thumbnail below to see a larger version.
Badge set number 1, pictured above. The breast badge, left, and matching hat badge. Unknown maker. Issued from 1953 to the mid-1960's.
Badge number 27. Unknown maker. Replaced (or supplemented) the first series as the department expanded. Replaced the series 1 until the mid-1980's. These badges were later recycled by adding a panel with the word RESERVE on it above the PATROLMAN rocker. The revised badges were issued to all active Reserve Officers until 2002.
Badge set number 32. Manufactured by Blackinton. Issued from mid-1980's until present. This set is an older example of a Patrolman seniority number issue. Newer badges have a full color center seal and three digit numbers reflecting the wearer's actual badge number. Uniform Officers and Sergeants are issued silver badges, while Detectives and Lieutenants and above are issued gold badges.
The badge pictured above is a unique example. Until 2002, no one working here even knew it existed. It was issued to a Waterford Police Auxiliary Lieutenant named Tom Manion. After World War II, local police departments usually had Civil Defense members that they could call up in the event of a natural disaster or act of war. Over time, the Civil Defense programs were abandoned and many departments elected to retain their members as (usually) unpaid volunteers or Reserve Officers.
The badge, along with the items pictured below was returned to the department on February 21, 2002. Note the date on the newspaper article. It was returned on the 40th anniversary of the article! Also returned were a photo of Mr. Manion in his uniform, and his issued Civil Defense identification card.
The badge pictured above was a special issue in 1999. It is a Millennium commemorative badge. The badge is a solid, custom die-struck badge made by G.R. Davis, Ltd. The badges were privately purchased and were authorized to replace the official issue badges between 1999 and 2000. The officers that were employed at that time were allowed to retain them. They have since been retired and the uniformed members of the department have returned to wearing the series three badges.