Following the creation of the Metropolitan Police Department by an Act of Congress in August of 1861, a new badge design was needed for the fledgling department. In September of 1861, a new badge was conceived. It was not in the typical badge style of the times and featured the as yet completed United States Capitol building as the badge’s main symbol.
This badge and its unique design is a source of great pride as it has not changed from this original design over 153 years ago. There were some differences in the numbering of the Officers’ badges as the Department began issuing larger numbers soldered onto an open number plate, rather than the traditional stamped number. However, after a number of years of numbers coming loose, the Department transitioned back to a badge number stamped onto the badge.
The Officer who first possessed Badge #1 was Lingan B. Anderson, one of the longest serving privates from the original 1861 group. He retired in the early 1900s, when he was in his eighties. The Officer’s badge has always been larger than the official’s badge.
The Photograph illustrates the some of the different badge and cap plate types and also displays the now defunct rank of Corporal.