$5,900 Solid Gold Badge and $1,987 Gold Plated Badge For St. Louis Police Chief. [St Louis Police Department = Solid Gold Police Department]
Last week, the St. Louis Mo police department acknowledged they had paid $5,900 apiece for two solid-gold badges for the previous chief of police, Joe Mokwa. And when Joe Mokwa left the department, he took one of them with him.
Because the current chief, Chief Daniel Ison, now only has one badge, the agency had to purchase an additional badge as a backup, in case the solid-gold one breaks. For the new chief of police, Chief Daniel Ison and two other top officers, they will be getting new $1,987 apiece badges.The total price for five new badges? $9,936.20.
And in 1993, this same department was criticized for buying a $2,100 chief’s badge.
These badges all have to be approved to be purchased. Wednesday of last week, the new badges were approved in a unanimous vote by the Board of Police Commissioners approving December purchase. And believe it or not, the board seems to make purchases WITHOUT knowing prices, or so they claim.
At a press conference called Saturday morning after the Post-Dispatch disclosed the purchase, Isom, the new Chief, called the badge expenditures “outrageous.” He said there will be no more such spending.
In Isom’s defense, he said the badges had been ordered before a purchase order had been issued by the Police Board. A statement from the department said Isom had already “dealt with those responsible for purchase.”
The St. Louis Police Department bought a chief badge, two assistant chief badges and two lieutenant colonel badges. The previous chief took one of the $5,900 badges with him, when he was forced out of his job by the board. The new chief has the other $5,900 badge and will soon have a $1,987 badge as “backup”. Two other high ranking officers in the department are retiring next month, also taking their badge with them, thus those two badges need replaced.
St. Louis officers have been allowed to keep their badges when they retire. “It had been a long standing tradition, presumably as an honor to officers who are leaving the department after risking their lives day in and day out,” according to Police Department spokeswoman Erica Van Ross.
Meanwhile in Muskogee, Oklahoma, new badges are being manufacturer as a morale booster. Officer Brad Holt leanred having a view of the city hall, which includes the police station, displayed on the badges meant the federal government would pay $6,000 on the die cost of the badges. There are 91 police officers in Muskogee, and the badges cost $59 each for a total price of $5,369.
In Collier County Florida, Collier County EMS is spending $9,000 on new badges. The department bought 200 of them at $46 apiece. Currently the Collier County EMS is on a hiring freeze due to the economy. Earlier this year, the agency proposed cutting 24 medics and postponing the replacement of three ambulances. Cheryl Wilson – Watson, EMS Spokesowman, says the money for the badge bill could not be used for salaries or anything other than clothing. The money for the badges “is like buying new boots for paramedics.”
Examples of badge costs from other agencies:
- St. Louis Count Police Chief Jerry Lee’s badge, $110.
- Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton’s badge, $61.
- Kansas City Police Chief James Corwin’s badge, $48.75.
- St. Louis Police Officer’s badge, $19.75.
- Missouri State Highway Patrol do not wear badges, but instead wear insignias on each collar, $3.15 each.
- Belvedere, CA Chief Mark Campbell, $200
- “St. Louis police chief wears $5,900 badge; Kansas City’s is $48.75”, STLtoday, 21DEC08
- “No More Expensive Badges For St. Louis’ Top Cops”, FOX News, 20DEC08
- “New Police Badges ‘uniquely Muskogee’, Muskogee Phoenix, 12DEC08
- “EMS blowing the budge on new badges?”, MSNCB, 17DEC08