Selling Police Badges to the Public - No way!
There is something wrong with allowing fake/real police badges to be bought by the public. Each day, as a news junkie and writer, I scan dozens of headlines in my 80 or more RSS feeds. Then I mentally classify them, sifting through the stories to determine whether or not I want to write about them.
What goes through my head as I choose a story, is:
Junk / Hot News / Rare news / Holy hell - can that be true?! The latter does not include UFOs, miracles, etc., rather, it includes legitimate news that is difficult to believe but has distinct proof to back it up.
My article today, falls into the bolded classification above. I stumbled upon a website that sells collectible law enforcement badges. I certainly do not claim to be an expert on these or the legal badges, but I do know that if someone came to my door, dressed appropriately and flashed one of those badges to me, I might be inclined to trust them.
The badges in question are:
- Deputy United States Marshal;
- Computer Forensics, Agent;
- Executive Body Guard;
- Crime Scene Investigation;
- Sergeant Los Angeles
- CIA badges and clothing;
- Police accessories - belt buckles, key rings etc;
- Police Counter Terrorism Homefront Security;
- Lieutenant-City of New York Police.
......... and many others.
On the website 'Collectible Badges' there is what I call, a 'save our butts' sentence that says:
Gold & Silver Plated Collectible Badges - Badges are for entertainment, collecting or movie prop use.
I admit that there are a few badges that can only be taken tongue in cheek, such as 'Elvis Presley, Chief Deputy Shelby County', but the others that I've mentioned would definitely have fooled me - especially since I've only been in the country around 9 years and had next to nothing to do with any police.
How many other people could be fooled? That number is probably in the vicinity of many thousands. If the badges had simply been tin replicas, I could say they might be identifiable as copies, but the fact that they are silver or gold plated, gives them a true look of authenticity.
If someone came to Mr/Mrs Average's door, showed them one of these badges at the door and asked to come in, many people would allow them access, even if the intruder was not wearing a uniform and claimed to be under cover.
Consider something like the following:
"Hello Ma'am, we're investigating a murder in the area and interviewing anyone who might have heard anything, or were in the area at the time."
Having found the first website, I did a search online, to see if there were any other companies trading on the internet, selling the same merchandise.
I found so many that I was truly floored.
These people actually do sell their badges to members of the police force:
Custom designed and manufactured quality police badges for your police agency.
Serving the needs of professional Police Agencies all over world, Lawman Badge provides the highest quality Police Badges available. [...]
Serving the needs of professional Police Agencies all over world, Lawman Badge continues to provide the highest quality Police Badges available. Our unique police badge designs, durability and outstanding appearance are unequaled in the industry.
The widest range of services are provided for creating Police Badges that cannot be ignored. Each police badge speaks for itself as it stands out from all the others and never goes unnoticed. All of our resources at Lawman Badge are aimed at creating the finest police badges to be found anywhere regardless of price.
Each police badge must look and feel distinctly refined as more than a police badge. Police badges are emblems of professionalism, authority, distinction and quality that represents the officer wearing the badge.
As always, these badges are authentic, highest quality, hallmarked, serial numbered and ORIGINAL DEPARTMENT EQUIPMENT with a certificate of authenticity hand signed by the Chief of Police authorizing you to possess this badge for your collection.
A beautiful piece of law enforcement equipment, sure to be very popular with all police badge collectors.
This website sells the real deal to law enforcement. The difference between the latter and this web site is the following information:
The Roberts Company is committed to preserving the integrity of the Law enforcement profession.
Our badge wizard will assist you in selecting the different badge styles and options available. All final orders must be FAXED OR MAILED to the Roberts Company with a copy of your official ID card or a letter of authorization from your department. You MAY NOT purchase our badges directly online.
This is good wording, concise and clear.
The badges produced here are genuine and a police officer has to prove that he is employed by the police, before a sale can be made. There are many other cute items that can be bought by the public, such as police themed Christmas ornaments and music boxes.
I find this site a little more disturbing than the others. They carry similar items to the other websites, but also advertise such items as "CIA T-Shirt" and "CIA Cap".
Having never seen any of these items up close and personal, they look authentic to me (and may well be,) which begs the question - to how many other people would these items look real?
NIC Law Enforcement Supply has a comprehensive selection of badges for a wide variety of professional and personal uses.
We have collectible police badges and historic badges including a diverse selection of intelligence and military institutions from around the world for the collector.
Additionally, NIC has a complete line of professional badges, and badge accessories for people whose careers require permanent identification. NIC also has a huge selection of custom badges to choose from. For more information click on the categories below or browse some of our best sellers highlighted in the featured products section.
Even Amazon is getting into the act. I assume that whatever Amazon sells is legal, but I did find a few amazing items there that triggered my "you're kidding!" radar.
I think after seeing all these websites, whether they are lawful, or not, that the only advice I can offer to the public is, if someone comes to your door professing to be police, FBI or CIA:
- Ask them for their name and ID number, politely;
- Smile and say that you'll be right back;
- CLOSE THE DOOR and call the relevant law enforcement office to verify their name and number.