The Ottumwa Courier

AP Iowa

January 17, 2014

Davenport police mark anniversary with badges

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Davenport police are commemorating the 175th anniversary of the department and city by wearing old-style badges more in line with the 1800s than current fashions.

The shiny star-shaped badges were the idea of Davenport Police Sgt. Eric Court, the Quad-City Times reported (http://bit.ly/1j360AF ). He said he was inspired by the city of Bettendorf, which used old-style badges to mark its 100th anniversary in 2003. Other area police departments also have issued special badges for such anniversaries.

"I missed the 150th anniversary when I was here, and I won't be here for the 200th anniversary, so I wanted to get something done for the 175th," Court said. He's been with the force for nearly 30 years.

Davenport police say the department began when George Colt was appointed the first city marshal in 1839, the year Davenport was incorporated as a city.

"The Davenport Police Department is one of the oldest police departments in the United States and the anniversary badge is an exceptional way to display that pride and remind everyone just how long we have been serving the citizens of Davenport," said Police Chief Frank Donchez.

Damir Krdzalic is co-owner of Code 4 Public Safety Emblems, which helped create the badges. He said the badges back then were shiny, too, and only tarnished over time.

"The ones we used dated from anywhere in the late 1800s through the early 1900s," he said.

Lieutenants and higher ranks have gold badges, while sergeants and others have silver badges. The department and the police union split the cost of paying for the badges.

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Information from: Quad-City Times, http://www.qctimes.com

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