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Purchasing a Badge?


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  • Purchasing a Badge?

    I have a question concerning the purchase of a badge. Now I am not looking to purchase an official police badge, or anything that has police officer, government official, or anything that could be interpreted as the bearer being a LEO. I am simply looking to have a badge designed with my agencies name across it, and possibly logo embedded into it. My reason for wanting the badges is simply for a shadowbox, and nothing more. They will not be carried on my person and hopefully once the recipient has received the box they will remain there.

    With all that being said I have a few questions:

    First, is it illegal to have a badge designed and made, with the above listed intentions? If so, then just let me know and it’s something I will not pursue.

    Secondly, if it is legal, are there any liabilities on me, if the person whom the box is given to misuses the badge?

    Third, would I have to register them with someone, or how does the process go of just having a badge made?

    And lastly, if all of this is possible, could you all suggest a manufacturer I could contact to produce the badges? It would be a small number approximately 10 or so.

    Thank you all very much for the help, and sorry if the questions seem ridiculous but I just want to be sure nothing improper was being done.

  • #2
    I can only reply to you in a very general sense. Badges of the type you're describing are governed by individual agency policy. Quite a few agencies are very restrictive, others more liberal in outlook. Permission to have the badges made would have to come from someone in authority in your agency. In most cases, authorization on Department letterhead stationary would be required by a retailer/manufacturor before the badge would be made. Hopefully, some of my partners can provide you with some additional thoughts/information.


    • #3
      If I'm understanding your post correctly you want to make custom badges for the purposes of presenting them as trophies of a sort. They are to have your XXX company name on them and not any sort of police department/police officer text.

      Not illegal. Anyone can buy a badge, its just an oddly shaped chunk of metal. Having one that says "police" or the like can cause issues depending on area. Having one that says "Perfect attendance at Johnny Corp" in a shadow box is fine.

      Liability? Eh, probably not, but I'm not your corporate lawyer. Anyone can sue for anything, but that doesn't mean they'll win. You aren't supplying them with anything they couldn't get on their own. Witness "CCW badges" as an example.

      Talk to Galls and see what they say about making them if you want a quality badge. Alternately if you just want something badge shaped, talk to a local trophy shop and see what they have to say.


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      • #4
        There are a couple of hoops you may have to jump through.

        1. You agency may have rules about having badges made. Check with them first before you get into trouble.

        2. Just about every badge company will want your order to be made on your agency's stationary and delivery to be made at a work address.

        3. If you are paying with your own money, the letter must specify that you will be paying with personal funds. Otherwise the badge company will bill your agency directly.

        4. Assuming you want the shape or size of your badge to be unique, you may incur a die charge with the badge company. This can be expensive.

        5. Do not order through an Asian manufacturer or an American company that uses an Asian factory, as there will be no security control on your badge die. Doing so makes it likely that you badges will be sold to the public on the collectors market before you get your first order.

        Galls is a middle man that orders from one of the major badge manufacturers and getting a specialized badge made through them is going to be difficult. It's easier to go directly to the manufacturer yourself. Here is a list of well known and established manufacturers. I have had dealings with both Entenmann-Rovin and Sun Badge Company and found them very easy to work with. All of them have online catalogs, so you can get a feel for what they offer.





        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere


        • #5

          Galls will make them for you.


          • #6
            I know for certain that "Sun Badge" will not create a badge for you without a written letter, on departmental letterhead, signed by your chief of police. As a matter of fact, they have been known to call and verify the letter.

            I am told that most reputable badge manufacturers have now adopted a similar policy thanks to 9/11 and the creation of DHS. Also, thanks to a number of unauthorized badges out there given as political favors.

            There are a few wild cat badge companies that advertise on the internet that may do what you wish. All you can do is inquire of them.
            Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

            [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]


            • #7
              Errr....if you look where he works, it appears that he works for the White House Commo folks.....One would suspect that he can get a letter from his bosses to do it.....

              I would suggest looking at some of the links that were posted online...and talking to their sales folks....and they will hook you up.....

              Just an FYI...Galls DOES NOT make their own badges....they go through an outside contractor (usually Blankington or Smith and Warren) to get them produced.....

              In my opinion....it's best to go through a manufacturer....and not Galls....


              • #8
                Check with Quartermaster, I believe they can make small runs (10 or 12 at a time) very reasonable compared to Blackinton and some of the others as long as you want to choose from a limited number of styles. When you start going full-on custom shapes, sizes, etc, it gets expensive in a hurry.



                • #9
                  Originally posted by WC145 View Post
                  Check with Quartermaster, I believe they can make small runs (10 or 12 at a time) very reasonable compared to Blackinton and some of the others as long as you want to choose from a limited number of styles. When you start going full-on custom shapes, sizes, etc, it gets expensive in a hurry.

                  The lawpro ones they make are crappy....

                  The last agency I worked for full-time went through Symbol Arts and they made an incredible product.......and they will do small batches....


                  • #10
                    Here are two sources that make badges for Cowboy shooters. They will make small runs, as long as the badge does not appear to be a current LE badge.


                    "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
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