The Importance Of Knowledge About Badges

Law enforcement badges are an indispensable part of the uniforms of members of law enforcement agencies such as the police. In fact, so used are we to seeing the authorities with their badges that we rarely give these things a second glance. However, it won’t hurt to know a bit more about badges – even if we do strive to be law-abiding citizens and are therefore confident that we won’t have a run-in with the law. This is because knowing who wears a badge and what to look for in it can protect us from perpetrators posing as officers and even abuse from officers.

Who Wears Law Enforcement Badges

We all know that our police officers have badges, and sheriffs, too – a bit of information made popular by Westerns since time immemorial. Aside from them, though, there are other officers – uniformed and not – from other law enforcement agencies that don badges. Agents and officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP), and the US Secret Service, among others, also have badges that are distinct from each other.


Differences Of Badges Worn By Authorities

There are no laws in our country that limit a badge’s appearance to a handful of styles. This means there is a rather wide variety of badges across and within law enforcement agencies. For instance, the badge carried by agents of the US Secret Service is distinct from that worn by our policemen. However, the badge that the latter wear also differs according to jurisdiction or the area where they are assigned; for example, those worn by officers in New York are different from those carried by New Jersey police.

The difference in badges is also noticeable within a department; this often distinguishes rank. A sheriff, for instance, almost often carries a badge that is largely different from that worn by his or her deputies.

Information We Can Get From Law Enforcement Badges

Law Enforcement BadgesThe badge worn by authorities is not a decoration. It is also not just a way for officers to distinguish themselves from civilians like us. A badge offers information that is crucial and that we should take note of if ever we are approached by someone who claims to be from a law enforcement agency.

The first and most obvious data we can get from a badge is the agency with which the officer is affiliated. Apart from this, we can also find his or her rank. Likewise, we can and should see the officer’s jurisdiction: is he from the state police department, or from another area? Another bit of information we should take note of is the badge number, which is and should be displayed prominently on the badge. This is especially important. Officers are assigned numbers distinct from one another, so making a mental note of the number of the officer we are speaking with can help us identify him or her should any problems arise. At times, law enforcement badges also have a small nameplate bearing the name of the officer – something we should definitely remember.