HomeMeetingsSociety OriginsHonor RollSPPD HistoryOral HistoriesMembershipDonateContact Us


Photo of 1856 badge


Six pointed star — a common symbol of police. This badge was typical during this era. All badges were silver in color.

Photo of 1890 badge


This badge carried the image of the first badge, changing the six pointed star to a five pointed star in its center. The five pointed star was found in most sheriff's badges. The shield which surrounds the star symbolizes the shield or armor that was used in medieval times. The shield was interpreted as a defender of the people. All badges were silver in color.

Photo of 1940 badge


The eagle on the top of the badge symbolizes the defender of the constitution and an enforcer of the law. The center contains the Capital City seal. As the capital city, the center represents St. Paul. The badge was copyrighted. Patrol officers and detective badges were silver in color. Sergeant, lieutenant, captain, deputy chief and chief badges were all gold in color. Gold represents supervisory authority.

[The Civil service job classification changed from patrolman to police officer May 6, 1974. The first female police officer was hired September 8, 1975, and wore this badge with the title patrolman for ten years.]

Photo of 1985 badge


This badge was a generic law enforcement shield with the eagle on top. The center was a stamped cloisonné rendition of the state capital which symbolized St. Paul as the capital city. It was chosen after a committee recommended that gold be added to the officers' badges. The word patrolman was also changed to police officer to represent the diversified personnel. Officer badges were gold with silver ribbons and number area. Sergeant and lieutenant badges were all gold in color. Captain/commander, deputy chief and chief badges were gold in color with blue ribbons.

Photo of 2000 badge


This badge is representative of the Los Angeles style, oval shaped badge. In the center is the original six pointed star. It represents the beginning of the Department in 1854. The capital in the center is raised relief. Officers have a silver background, antique gold capital, silver star, and gold ribbons. Sergeant badges are gold, with a silver star and black ribbons. Commanders have an all gold badge with a silver star and blue ribbons. Senior Commander badges are gold backgrounds, antique silver capital, silver star and blue ribbons. Assistant chief and chief badges are gold backgrounds with a gold star, silver capital and blue ribbons. Called the Millennium badge, it represents the Department from its inception to the start of a new century: the twenty-first century.

Photo of early hat wreath

Hat Wreath

The hat wreath under went an upgrade around 1900, along with the change to the blue uniform and round cap. Prior to 1900 the hat wreath constituted a wreath of laurel leaves surrounding the badge number. The laurel leaves date back to early Greek times when a victorious athlete received a wreath of laurels which he wore on his head. The laurels stood for honor, competence, and respect.

The current hat wreath, which replaced the laurel wreath, displays crossed nightsticks on each side representing the expertise in the enforcing of the law. The star on the top represents the star of the north, which is the City of St. Paul. L'Etoile du Nord is translated as Star of the North.

Photo of chief's badge

Chief's Badge

It has been told that some chiefs had solid gold badges. It is thought that these badges were not issued by the city and in fact donated to the chief by wealthy constituents. Chief O'Connor's badge was gold and contained a one and a half carat diamond.