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The Inspector's Office

Badges of the San Francisco Police Department

Inspector Eddy O'Sullivan's got some badges from Frisco for ya...

Click on the thumbnail

At the turn of the Century, San Francisco had "Volunteer Police", who wore this simple shield with the moniker "VP of SF". The badge contains an Irvine & Jachens hallmark, as well as a department control number on the back

A simple, yet beautiful, sterling silver star with hard black enamel, dated on the back 1907, was worn by patrol officers. This style was known as the "pie plate", so called for its size, but is much different from Chicago's pie plate. In the 1910's the department changed to its current issue. Hallmarked I&J and containing the date made, a pleasure for collectors trying to determine the age of a badge.

This ornately scrolled sterling silver badge for the rank of Patrol driver was made by Irvine & Jachens, a maker still in business today. This is from the days of the early patrol wagons.

Another beautifully engraved sterling badge was this Storekeeper's star. Storekeeper's would have been in charge of the department's property.

This small 6 point star, in sterling with hard blue enamel, was probably given to a "friend" of the Chief's back in the 20's.

Even the Special Officers wore sterling, as this badge, dated 1928, attests. Another beauty with hard black enamel.

Another Special, only with a badge number "ZP". Frisco oftentimes used letters for badge numbers, the reasons often hotly debated. This badge is dated 1927.

Thanks to the server company, this pic is lost.

Police ambulance driver's wore this star in the 1920's. It featured a green enameled cross in the center, with a brass colored badge number plate.

This is the current style worn by SFPD. This badge, dated 1921, was made by Moise K. & Co., an early SF manufacturer. This style is known as the "Q2", so called because of the civil service rank of "Q2" (patrolman).

It's not too often that you can find a disappointing SF badge, but this one from the Muni Transit police would qualify. Cheaply done, it's in nickel and soft blue lettering. Musta been a budget crunch. Hallmarked I&J.

Just to show that SFPD badges can widely vary in designs, how 'bout this Reserve badge with soft red enamel in the badge number?

Another variation of the Auxiliary badge, this one has the word "Auxiliary" in soft red enamel and is nickel plated.

Okay, it's SF's hat badge... but, even though it's gold, it's worn by the patrol officer's. That's an unusual combo when their breast badges are silver. The moniker "Oro En Paz, Fierro En Guerra" means "Gold in Peace, Iron in War", the City motto.

Retirement badges apparently have an "A" added before the badge number

This badge has never been identified as having come from the department.  They've never worn ball-tipped stars to anyone's knowledge.  It may have been a movie prop or a sample badge.

San Francisco Harbor Police wore this sterling pie plate.

This Special police badge is in nickel finish, probably made during WWII.

But this Special Police hat badge is made of sterling.  It was worn by Patrol Specials

Patrol Special Police served as uniform officers for city merchants.

This is the older pie plate style but in nickel instead of sterling.  Said to be made during the metal shortages of WWII.

Like in Denver, the purpose of the San Francisco Sheriff's Department is to run the city jail.

Another San Francisco County Deputy Sheriff star, this one with a walking bear.

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