Baltimore Police Patch History
Until 1952 the Baltimore police department didn’t have a shoulder patch. Under Commissioner Beverly Ober Baltimore police would get there first regular patch, it was a rocker patch with a black background and but both a yellow outline and yellow lettering. At the time, police wore just one patch, and it was on the shoulder of their left sleeve. The rocker patch would remain in use until 1967. Note: When they introduced the above Black and Gold/Yellow rocker patch is was made for the left arm of our officer's coat/blouse; they had no patch for the shirt. Initially these patches were issued on the uniform coats of new officers, while vetern officers would have to purchase the needed patches and have them sewn on at their own exspence. The patches were .35 cents each. At the time there was talk of a separte patch for our officers sleeves, these sleeve patches would have been idential to the coat patch but in Blue letters/boarder with a white background. Interestingly enought, when you take the black and gold patch and revers it, create a negative image, you will get the blue and white (sen below) that would have been needed for he shirt patch. Sample seen below. The Blue and White shirt patch was never made. It would have been a nice patch, but the powers that be decided against it and eventually the same Gold and Black rocker patch used on the coats/blouses was also used on our shirts
In 1967 Police Commissioner Donald D. Pomerleau switched from the Rocker style patch to the Crest shape patch which with one small exception is very similar to the one main patch worn today and seen both above and below. The difference being from 1967 until 1974 the word “CITY” was on the patch.
In 1974 with Donald D. Pomerleau still Commissioner the word “CITY” was removed. There were rumors as to why “CITY” came off the patch. Some said it was to save money, others said because the police department fell under State Government. But the truth was the city was changing its image from a “Port/Industry Town” to a “Tourist Town.” Mayor Donald Schaffer wanted the word “CITY” removed from as many public places as possible. Some say even highway road signs went from “Baltimore City - 25 Miles” to “Baltimore - 25 Miles.” His efforts paid off with the success of the Inner Harbor starting in the mid to late 1970s and opening in the early 1980's as Baltimore became a worldwide tourist destination and model of urban planning and development.
The Blue - The current patch design was created in the shape of a shield to represent protection for those who wear it, and all those he or she would serve. The patch has a blue background that like the blue field of our American flag represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice.
The gold – The gold/yellow border (marrow) of the patch is to remind us and those confronting us that we are here to protect and uphold everyone’s constitutional rights. This too goes back to our Nation’s flag, in particular, American flags that have three or four sides of golden fringes; most often found in ships or courtrooms.
Our state flag in the shape of a Baltimore Police Department's fourth issue badge; this was to represent our agency. The badge with our State Flag encased inside is to represent our organization as having once fallen under the control of state government.
The Maryland flag, by the way, is the only flag in our country to have been designed solely based on our English heraldry.
The black and gold design on the state flag is the of crest/coat arms of the Calvert family.
While the red and white design is the coat of arms of the cross land family.
In the foreground, we see the battle monument which is not only the first public war Memorial in the United States to honor the memories of those who fell during the battle of 1812, but since 1827 it has been the Official seal of Baltimore city. Like the patch, the monument is filled with symbolic meaning to remind us all of the sacrifices made for our city and country.
Everything from the 18 layers in the marble base that represent the 18 states that made our nation at the time to the Griffins, one at each corner of the base ever on the watch but the Baltimore police they will guard and protect. The column itself which is carved as Roman fasces and is bound with cords listing the names of those who died during the battle. Citing the names of officers who died at the top and the soldiers down near the bottom.
To the monument being topped with an 8-foot-tall marble statue of a female figure representing the city of Baltimore. She has come to be known as, “Lady Baltimore” and some say she is modeled after Anne Arundel, the wife of Cecilia’s Calvert and like the statue she is also known as Lady Baltimore. In either case, the statue wears a crown of victory on her head and holds a laurel wreath in Jerez and as a symbol of victory over the British. She faces the harbor and in her lowered hand, she holds a ship’s rudder as a testament to Baltimore’s nautical role in the war.
How to Dispose of Old Police Items
Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department.
Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll