The History of the Badge

The History of the Badge

Since the establishment of the Toledo Police division in 1867, the officers of the Division have worn six different styles of badges. It is through the research of John J. Connors IV and the documentation in his book, Badges of Toledo and Lucas County, Ohio, that the history of the badges of the Toledo Police division is preserved. Articles by Lt. Wayne Markland in the Toledo Police Division Newsletter also provide historical insights into the present hat piece and badge of the Toledo Police Division.


 1867-1868 (Metropolitan Badge)

Little is known about the first badge worn by Toledo Police officers in 1867, other than descriptions of it from newspaper accounts. It was described as being similar to the New York City Police Department badge of that ear and it was made in New York City. There are no known badges of the Toledo design in existence, nor are there any known pictures. This badge was worn by Toledo Police Officers for one year, until it was replaced on July 3, 1868.


July 3, 1868 – 1905 (Canal Boat Design)

On July, 1868, the badge which came to be known as the “Canal Boat Shield” was first issued. The badge was named this because of a large canal boat in the center of the “The Great Seal of Ohio.” The commerce and history of the area was illustrated by the canal boat on the shield. The Miami and Erie Canal ran through this area and was a source of commerce. This badge was worn by most officers until 1905; however, motorcycle officers continued to wear it until the early 1920’s. The “Canal Boat” badge was made in Toledo. (In 1929, the canal was drained and filled-in to become the Anthony Wayne Trail.) (This badge is on display in the Toledo Police Museum.)


July 1, 1909 (Fort Industry Design)

The Fort Industry badge was first issued on July 1, 1909, and was worn by command officers until June 9, 1922. Patrolmen wore this badge until December, 1925. The badge had a design of Fort Industry on the top along with the year that the City of Toledo was incorporated. Fort Industry was the first settlement in what is now Toledo and was located where Swan Creek and the Maumee River meet. It was referred to as “the frying pan” by the members of the Division because of its shape. The badges were made in Philadelphia; they were bronze with nickel plating. The patrolmen had badges with their numerals, while command officers’ badges displayed their rank. (This badge is on display in the Toledo Police Museum.)


June 10, 1922-December 28, 1959 (Delehaunty Design)

In May of 1922, the City Council adopted a new badge which was designed by Inspector Joseph W. Delehaunty. This oval shaped badge was first worn by command officers on June 10, 1922. The sergeants’ badge were solid sterling silver with a gold-plated “Great Seal of the State of Ohio” with royal blue enamel lettering. Command officers above the rank of sergeant wore a badge which was gold-plated with royal blue enamel lettering.

Three years later, in December, 1925, patrolmen began wearing the badge designed by Inspector Delehaunty. The patrolman’s shield was nickel-plated with bronze numerals. The badges were made in Toledo by the Roulet Company. A large replica of a badge of this design hangs on the wall in the Field Operation Bureau Desk Lieutenant’s area. (This badge is on display in the Toledo Police Museum.)


May 23, 1938 (The Metropolitan Shield)

On May 23, 1938, the City Council passed an ordinance which adopted a hat piece and badge designed by Inspector Roth. The hat piece is the same basic design as our present hat piece which depicts the three figures on the Fallen Timbers Monument; however, it did not have “Toledo, Ohio” on it. The badge was known as “Roth’s Metropolitan Shield.” It was called this because Inspector Roth pointed out to City Council that Toledo was a major city and should have a badge of a metropolitan design. He is quoted in the Toledo Times, (June 12, 1939), as saying, “we want to come to the metropolitan idea of design used by Milwaukee, New York and other large cities.” These badges and hat pieces were never worn by Toledo Police Officers because City Council didn’t authorize their purchase. In the same article, the Toledo Times states, “the city’s present financial straits would scarcely justify appropriation of $2000.00 estimated as the needed amount for such badges-in fact, council recently refused to pass such an appropriation – but someday when the financial picture is rosier, Toledo’s finest may sport a shiny, new insignia. “This “someday” would not come until December 28, 1959. Until then, officer of the Toledo Police Division continued to wear the badges designed by Inspector Delehaunty.


December 28, 1959 (Fallen Timbers Monument Design)

On August 3, 1959, City council authorized the purchase of the present hat piece and badge, at a cost of $7000.00. The 1938 hat piece which Inspector Roth had designed was the prototype for our present hat piece and badge. The monument from which the hat piece and badge were modeled depicts Chief Little Turtle, General Anthony Wayne, and an early settler. It is located at Fallen Timbers State Park, just south of Maumee, Ohio, on U.S. 24. (Anthony Wayne Trail). The monument commemorates General Anthony Wayne’s victory over Chief Little Turtle and the Miami Indians on August 20, 1794. This victory opened up Northwest Ohio for peaceful settlement. The hat piece consists of the three figures displayed on the monument with a blockhouse of Fort Industry. The blockhouse represents security and is found on the seal of the City of Toledo. The badge also depicts the same figures as on the hat piece with the “Great Seal of Ohio” at the knees of General Anthony Wayne, all under the protection of the American Eagle. This hat piece and badge, made in Toledo was first worn by Toledo Police Officers on December 28, 1959.

The badges and hat pieces for patrolmen are silver-plated with black lettering and have not undergone any changes since it was adopted. The badges and hat pieces for sergeants are gold plated with royal blue lettering. When first issued in 1959, the sergeant’s badge had a silver State Seal in the center, as well as a silver blockhouse on the hat piece. Over the years, the badges and hat pieces were gold-plated as they were reissued. Today there are only a few sergeant badges and hat pieces remaining which have the silver blockhouse and State Seal. The badges and hat pieces for the ranks above sergeant are entirely gold-plated, with royal blue lettering as they were when initially issued.

On February 4, 1989, another change appeared in the badge for command officers. Since the adoption of the present badge, the lettering of the rank has been in gold, with a blue background (referred to as “reverse blue enameling”). However, since the death of the manufacturer of the badges, the City has not found anyone to duplicate this design. The new command badges now have the rank in blue lettering with a gold background (referred to as “imprinted blue lettering”).

The original badges designed by Inspector Roth did not include a special badge for detectives; however, in the mid 1970’s a badge was adopted for detectives of patrolman rank. This badge is silver-plated and of the same design as the patrolman’s badge, however, has “DETECTOVE” printed in silver lettering with a royal blue background where the numerals appear on the patrolman’s badge. A command officer detective continues to carry the command badge indicating his rank, rather than a “detective badge”.

In addition to the representation of the monument, the badge has three distinct parts, the American Eagle, the “Great Seal of Ohio” and the name of the City. These three symbols remind us of the oath we took when we were appointed to the Toledo Police Division. The American Eagle reminds us that we swore to uphold the United States Constitution. The “Great Seal of Ohio” reminds us that we are also sworn to uphold the Constitution of Ohio and that it is from the State that the Police Division derives its authority. “Toledo” imprinted on the badge is a reminder that we are sworn to enforce the ordinances of the City of Toledo, as well as provide protection to the citizens of the community.


A Very Special Badge

Upon his retirement as Chief of Police, Harry Jennings was presented with a very special badge. It was made of three colors of gold, Roman, Green and White and in the star-shaped center was a diamond said to weigh 2 ¾ carats. On the back was inscribed “Presented to Chief of Police Harry Jennings by his Toledo friends in recognition of his practice of a great virtue – THE SQUARE DEAL.”


A Symbol of Pride

Until about 1920, policemen who retired with an honorable record were allowed to keep their badge. From about 1920, until 1982, a series of badges having the words Pensioner or Retired were given on retirement. Following a ruling by City Law Director, Sheldon Rosen in January of 1982, and Chief John Mason began presenting retiring policemen the badge that they had carried encased in Lucite.


Toledo Police Woman First to Wear Badge #1

Toledo Policewoman, Mary Gilley, appointed in 1927, was believed to be the first policewoman from a major metropolitan area to earn the distinction of wearing Badge #1, in recognition and honor of her 42 years of service. She received Badge #1 in January, 1969 and wore it until her retirement later that year. Gilley, a former stenographer, took the civil service test in 1927 and placed first among the twelve women taking the test. She began her career a few months later.

Her first arrest was a memorable one. She brought her prisoner back to the station on a trolley car…after first paying his fare back to the station. During the prohibition era, Gilley worked as an “undercover agent,” going on raids in speakeasies and checking on dance halls. She also walked the Cherry Street beat during her career. She was matron of the woman’s section of the City jail from 1961 until her retirement. In an interview in 1969, Gilley said, “when I saw some of the things that were involved, I figured that two or three years were going to be plenty.” According to family members, Gilley “loved it (the job) dearly…she enjoyed it to the hilt.”



On June 18, 1873, the Board of Police Commissioners passed a resolution stating that badge #1 was to be issued by seniority, that is, to the patrolman having the longest service on the force. The resolutions also stated that badge #2 and on, were to be issued accordingly. It appears that the resolution has not always been adhered to through the history of the force.


Michael Nary                                      June 18, 1873 – 1881

Charles Robinson                               1881 – 1882

Henry Bodinus                                    1882 – 1883

Henry Blake                                        1883 – 1885

Michael Nary                                      1885 – 1893

Patrick McPartland                             1893 – 1906

Peter O”Brien                                     May 1923 – January 1927

Andrews J. “Andy” Iwinski                January 1927 – December 1928

Mary Gilley                                        January 1969 – December 30, 1969

Lew J. Wonderly                                January 1970 – November 1971

Herman C. Keller                               January 4, 1972 – December 31, 1973

Danny Perzynski                                 January 3, 1973 – September 30, 1974

None from                                           September 1974 – July 1978

Robert Pribe Jr.                                   July 18, 1978 – ?

James T. Tierney                                ? – March 25, 1991

Alfred J. Lee                                       1991 – February 1992

Edward Grubinski                               February 1992 – March 6, 1992

John Hack                                           March 1992 – March 1999

O.J. McLaughlin                                 March 1999 – Sept 1999

James Ogle                                        ? – 2010