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Ask a Trooper: Badge placement is purposeful

The badge has its roots from the day of knights.

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State Trooper badges sit at the ready. Submitted photo
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Question: I've often wondered why Troopers wear their badges on their pocket flaps and not their chests like other LEOs. Can you tell me the story behind that? Thanks for all you do!

Answer: First let me say, excellent observation. This is the first time I’ve been asked about the iconic police badge. Where did it originate?

The placement isn’t random and has some historical significance. In the days of the knights, they would carry their shields, bearing their houses coat of arms, in their left hands. Law enforcement agencies will often reinforce the pockets that are being used to hold the badge, which will typically be on the front, left side of the uniforms. This is because the badge is to sit on top of the police officers’ heart.

There is no general location where a police badge is to be worn. Each individual agency and department will have different rules and regulations as to how the badge is to be worn, whether on or over the left pocket.

The badge represents those who protect and serve. Similar to the knights of old, the badge has become such a universal symbol that it can be recognized quickly by anyone, regardless of where they are from or what language they speak. This can be extremely beneficial as police, troopers and sheriff’s deputies come across people from all backgrounds and from all over the world.

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If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at, jesse.grabow@state.mn.us ).

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