1889 SERIES – CHICAGO POLICE COAT SHIELD DESIGN

Checkerboard Band

Below is a complete pictorial presentation of the 1889 Series Chicago Police Department Shield. The image shown is of the actual Department issued shield that existed in the 1889 series.

An ordinance providing for a new badge of authority was brought before the city council on May 13, 1889 and was passed into law. A new appropriation for the cost of the new shield was not needed as the cost was saved from the previous years appropriation. 1500 shields were ordered at a cost of $1350.00. The new shield was first worn by police on April 15, 1889. However this design was short lived because the men on the force disliked the shape of the shield. They were more accustomed to the six point star. General Superintendent George W. Hubbard, at the time, made the following statement as to why the shape of the badge was changed:

“The old star badges were a confounded nuisance, in going through a crowd the points were sure to catch in something and either a rent torn in some one’s clothing or the star pulled off. The new badge is fastened so that it hangs flat and tight on the coat, and there are no awkward points in the way. Then there were about fifteen varieties of badges in the city. They were worn by employes of detective agencies, Coroners, Constables, Special Watchmen, and so on. Each of them was more or less like the police badge. They all number from one up, and when a policemen was reported by number we were not by any means sure whether it was the policeman. Now we have an ordinance making it a misdemeanor, with a heavy penalty, for any one to imitate or duplicate the new police badge. We had a good deal of trouble getting this one up; it was hard to avoid imitating sombody’s else badge, but I think we have not only a unique, but an artistic design.”

PATROLMAN COAT SHIELD


In Service Dates: April 15, 1889 – June 1889

Status: Inactive – Retired

Manufactured By: S.D. Childs & Co.