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bobpyefinch

Barrie Police, New Pocket Badge issued

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bobpyefinch
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2019-01-14 New police badge
Barrie police officers are in the process of receiving new badges. Photo supplied

Barrie cops are getting some new steel. 

From the rank of constable up to the police chief, Barrie officers are receiving new identification, says the department's communications co-ordinator, Peter Leon.

The warrant card and the badge must go together to complete the officer's official identification, said Leon, who's a retired Ontario Provincial Police officer now working as a civilian with the city police. 

"You can't have one without the other," he told BarrieToday. 

The badge identifies the police service the officer belongs to, the rank they hold and, in some cases such as with Barrie police, also the officer’s badge number. The warrant card has a picture of the officer, their name, their rank and badge number.

The badge and card is what "connects" the officer to the two-piece ID.

 

The city's police department includes about 240 members. Old badges will be turned in because they are police property. 

Leon said he could not release the cost of the new badges, because it's considered an operational matter. 

"When it comes to public safety, the cost is minimal in comparison to what can happen if a police badge gets into the wrong hands," he said.

Some officers have already received their new badges, beginning just before Christmas, and the rest will be presented over the next few months, Leon said. Recent recruits, for example, received the new badges when they were sworn in. 

The department's old versions did not have the badge number on them, Leon said, which necessitated the replacements. 

 

"It's different when you're out and about," said Leon, noting that by having the badge and corresponding warrant card will confirm a member of the public that a person is a legitimate officer is asked, particularly in a non-uniform capacity, he noted. 

The new badges also include serial numbers that can be added to the national Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database if reported stolen.

"Police identification is no different and by now having the badge number on the new badges, it allows the police to be able to add this to the database as well in the event that an officer’s badge is stolen," Leon said. 

Leon said the new badges are also an effort to prevent counterfeiting. 

"Badges can be made to look really official these days by anyone," Leon said. 

"It's all about safety at the end of the day. You need to be safe when someone pulls you over," he adding, noting there have been instances of police officer impersonation in the region in recent years.

There is also a collectables market around police paraphernalia, particularly badges, where people seek them out at flea markets, for example.

"In general, with police badges showing up for sale on social-media platforms in recent years, a police badge in the wrong hands could become a public-safety issue," said Leon.

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