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Of all the trappings displayed on a police officer’s uniform, perhaps none invokes more symbolism and is more sacred to an officer than the badge. It is by no coincidence that an officer’s badge is most often in the shape of a shield, a protective piece of metal borne on his left side, close to his heart. The badge serves as a tribute to the armored knights of old as they went forth into battle, bringing justice and light to a dark world.
Over the years, the TRPD has worn various nondescript, “cookie-cutter” styles of badges ordered from police supply catalogs. Although these badges were imprinted with the words “Travelers Rest Police Department” and bore the SC state seal, they were almost identical to those worn by thousands of other police departments. However, in late 2009 we took steps to design one-of-a-kind, fully customized badge worn by no other agency in the world.
Starting with the shield motif, this new badge was infused with heraldry and symbolism not found in the average badge. Drawing from the Bible passage Romans 13:1-7, the sword in the center stands for the authority granted to officers by their jurisdiction’s governing body as we use righteous authority to protect those who need our aid. The opposing fields of black and gold separated by the sword demonstrate the police mission at its most basic level, the conflict between the darkness and light, crime and peace. The TRPD badge serves as a constant reminder to our officers of the oath we take to hold back the darkness in the community we serve.