Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Official Chicago Police Star Is On Its Way Out
Chicago, IL—Okay, I’ll spread a rumor! The Chicago Police Department will be changing their stars once again. Credit for starting that rumor goes to Second City Cop.
From time to time police agencies change their star of badge design. The stars get old and worn needing to be replaced. Then there is the matter of stars winding up in the hands of civilians that would use them to gain trust of their victims in order to facilitate serious crimes.
Most lost police stars are never really lost. As a policeman’s career enters the twilight stage, there is an extraordinary thing that happens. These old coppers lose their stars and usually take a three day suspension for their negligence. The reality is it’s difficult to give up the symbol of who you are.
Cops also want their children and grand children to always have possession of that symbol long after the old cop’s gone, to that great police beat in the sky. Do they really need cops in Heaven I ask? Somehow I don’t think so.
Chicago police had a great design from 1955 through 2002. That star was a downright pretty piece of artwork. At least three companies made that star, Metal Arts of New York, C.H. Hansen of Chicago and Blakington. The star was difficult to counterfeit and was extremely durable.
In 2002 Blackington was commissioned to make a new star. There offering was and is cheap looking and can’t take more than a year’s worth of use without having to be repaired or remanufactured. As cheap as that star looks, Blackington has made a fortune on them unless of course the repairs were covered by a warrantee.
I think I have the right idea for the next star design. Let’s have a rebirth of the 1955-through 2002 model! This time it should be made one third larger. That will satisfy the need to make a different design altogether. That city seal sculpture is the greatest found anywhere. The only other change is for that star to read the gender neutral term police officer rather than Patrolman, Policewoman and Matron.
The city could also save a bundle if rank was not shown on the star. They can put rank insignias on the official ID card and on the officer’s name tag or uniform. The Gold Star endowed officers want their gold so I’d let them fight out that problem.
My working Chicago police pals should get involved in this design effort. They are the ones that will be wearing whatever gets issued.