Of all the badges that are being used by people all over the world, law enforcement badges are probably the most known and the most recognized. I see them almost everyday as other people probably do as well because the people who are authorized to wear them are always around. The traffic enforcers wear them and the policemen at the stations also carry them around. I do not take much notice of these badges though, so they all seem alike to me. But what I do know is that if you are ever confronted by an authority figure that wears a badge, you better show respect.

History of Badges

Badges were first popularized as jewelry or accessories in the Middle Ages. The most expensive of these would be molded from special metals that were hard t find and expensive by themselves. If these were not enough, some of the most expensive ones also bore precious crystals or stones that added to the value of the jewelry. I also found out that these accessories also had a role in religion. People who were successful in their pilgrimages were given these special badges as a sign of their devotion to the faith. Aside from these, badges were also used to signify allegiance to countries or political figures. Men of war would wear special badges and so would those who were members of special orders or advocacies. Through the years, the badge has been used in many ways, but it has always been a symbol that demanded respect from its people.

Authority and Law Enforcement Badges

Perhaps it is because of the use of these badges by the special armies or special orders that made them a symbol of authority. Aside from the medieval period, what I think of the most whenever badges are concerned are our western sheriffs. Who would not be familiar with the star-shaped badge that was worn by the man of the town? Truly, if people needed any help from authority, they would go to the one with the badge. During those times, only a handful few who were at the top of the authoritative ladder would carry badges so you knew you were working with someone trustworthy.

Modern Day Law enforcement Badges

Today’s badges have experienced little but significant change. In my city, as long as you earned your position as a member of the police or any security group, you would earn the right to wear a badge. Even private security personnel would wear badges as a sign of their authority. However, not all of them have deserved it. Some of them simply wear the badges because they are part of the uniform. It is a sad reality that although we still generally respect the badge, we doubt the people who are behind them.

Earning Respect

Law Enforcement BadgesI have grown up knowing that the badge should be respected because the one who carries it does great public service. Although there are some who I really admire because of the way they do their jobs, there are those who put shame on the badge. Law enforcement badges should be earned because as the saying goes, power comes with responsibility.