Police insignia from CHICAGO




Lapel pin versions of the current star styles
Designs are copyrighted by the Chicago PD

Top left - Police Officer;  Top right - Sergeant;  Middle - Detective; Bottom left - Lieutenant; Bottom right - Captain.
Police Officer pin - while there is black behind the words surrounding the center city seal, there is no color outside of this ring.
Detective's pin - similar to the Police Officer's pin but has an additional black ring around the center.
Sergeant's pin - has dark blue behind the words surrounding the center city seal and it has a dark blue ring around the center.
Lieutenant's pin - has red behind the words surrounding the center city seal; also has ball tips.
Captain's pin - similar to the Lieutenant's pin and has an additional red ring around the center; also has ball tips.
Pictured are lapel pin versions, not the full size stars.  The real stars have numbers on them, as follows:
Police Officer - 2200 to 19999
Sergeant - 300 to 2199
Detective - 20000 to 21999
Lieutenant - 100 to 800
Captain - 40 to 100
Contrast the star numbers used today with the star numbers that were issued in 1955.  Those stars used the following number system:
Patrolman - 2000 to 14999
Policewoman - 4700 to 4799
Matron - 4800 to 4850
Sergeant - 500 to 1999
Lieutenant - 150 to 499
Captain - 1 to 149
The 2003-issued stars were made approximately 1/8 of an inch larger, and thicker than the 1955-issued stars.  The 1955 stars were 64 thousandths of an inch thick.  The 2003 issued stars are 78 thousandths of an inch thick.
During the design stage of the 2003-issue stars, the prototype sergeants' star had two center rings that were light blue instead of the dark blue.  From what I heard, nobody liked the light blue and light blue stars were never issued.
Also during the design stage, the lieutenants' and captains' stars were designed with no ball tips.  However, in the end, the ball tips were added to the final design for these.
Blue was chosen for the sergeants' stars because of the association of that color with that rank, such as from the chevrons which have been blue for many decades.
Red was chosen for the lieutenants' and captains' stars because of the association of that color with those ranks.  Their coats had red piping back in the 1920s and the cord & tassels on their batons are red.  Red was chosen even though some have said that the use of red makes the stars look more like issued items from the fire department.

Commander lapel pin
This is a one inch pin - still need the real star

Reflective star on raincoats - STILL NEED
New in 2010

150th anniversary star 1855 - 2005
Still need this style of star, which came in many ranks

Commemmorative star celebrates 150 years
This is the pie plate style - a real pie plate 6-point star is pictured below - 4 photos down

Second version - no color
Still need this one

Third and final version - white
Still need this one

Novelty - replica pie plate
Still need this one &The real pie plate appears below

The below 6-point star is a "pie plate" style used between 1907 and 1955.  On the back is the manufacturer's stamp, Meyer & Wenthe Chicago, which was a badge company at 24 South Jefferson Street until it was acquired in the 1980s by Everson Ross; Smith & Warren of White Plains, New York, acquired ER in 1999.


This large star measures 3  6/16 inches across.  Compare this to the 5 point stars used from 1955 to 2003, which measured        2  10/16 inches across, and the current 5 point stars (except for Exempt ranks) which measure   2  13/16 inches across.  In other words, the old pie plates were huge.  It has a large, thick pin on the back.  Note the lack of any rank.  Exempt rank stars measure 3 inches across.


As with the 1955-2003 stars, many suburban Chicago police departments used a similar design for their stars, including the large applied copper numbers.  Since this star has only 3 numerals, it is likely one of the older ones.  Another Chicago badge manufacturer that made this style of badge was the C.H. Hanson Company.

Obsolete star - "pie plate" style
Used between 1907 and 1955

The back of the pie plate
The manufacturer's name is at the top left

The manufacturer's name stamp
This is known as the star's hallmark

RETIRED - same size as the above star
Hallmarked on rear - C.H. Hanson Co. Chicago

old Retired star, ball tips, in case
I still need this Retired star

old Pagoda style - pre 1907; old style city seal
Patrol Driver; I still need this star

Pre- 1907
I still need this star

Pre 1907
I still ned this star

pre 1907 - Driver
I still need this star

pre 1907 - Messenger
I still need this star

Pagoda Messenger - old city seal
Still need this

Pre 1907 and uses the old style city seal
I still need this star

Circa 1927; Commissioner Michael Hughes
I still need this star; note that the star tips spell out Hughes

Below- note the HUGHES tips
I still need the above star

Inspector - inverted 5 point star
I still need this star

Obsolete badge
very old

The obsolete badge - note the 6 points - the ball tips were specially applied.   This was used sometime between 1907 and 1955 during the period when the old 6 point "pie plate" style was used by patrol officers, which became obsolete in 1955.   
This pictured badge can be dated in part by the city seal.  Prior to 1907, the city seal had the Indian and the tall ship in opposite positions, and the center shield was different.  The old style city seal can be seen on one of the coat buttons I have pictured earlier on this site as well as on the 6-point star numbered 103 above, the 6-point star for Superintendent's staff pictured above and the 6-point patrol sergeant star number 4, pictured below.
While patrol officers wore the giant 6-point star between 1907 and 1955, sergeants wore a smaller 6-point star while higher ranks had 5-point stars.  Some of the higher ranking stars used the "inverted style" where the top has 2 star points sticking up and the bottom has the one point, which is the opposite of how a 5-point star is worn today.  This allowed people to distinguish higher ranks from a greater distance (or at least that was the theory).  One of the stars pictured just 2 pictures above this text is an inverted Inspector's star.
In July 1955, CPD switched to 5-point stars with applied copper numbers for Patrolmen, Sergeants, Lieutenants and Captains.  The manufacturer for many of them was Metal Arts in Rochester, New York.  Patrol Officers [referred to back then as Patrolman and Patrolwoman on these stars] and Sergeants had the same general design, with pointed tips.  Lieutenants' and Captains' stars used a similar design to the Patrolman and Sergeant stars, but had ball tips.  The ball tips distinguished the higher ranks from a (short) distance.  All of these stars were "stamped out" - on the rear, you can see that the die "pushed out" the letters and design toward the front of the star, giving the letters and design a raised up look, with a silver color, as there was no enamel used on these stars.
The Exempt rank stars (Commander and above) measure 3 inches across and are gold colored with black letters, solid ball tips and a fancy design (filigree) on the star arms.  I think Superintendent Wilson added colored enamel to his star and other highest ranking stars.  Below is an old Deputy Commissioner's star.   I believe CPD has not changed the basic design of these exempt stars since at least 1960.
As a result of this web site, some guys have asked me to describe where to find the manufacturer's name "Metal Arts" on their 1955-2003 stars.  Here goes, from memory - I took a good look at one years ago -
Look on the back, in the area behind where the numbers would be.  This is the long blank area with "arrows" on the left and right.  Toward the left side near the top of this area, it says Metal Arts and may also say Roch NY.  It is VERY difficult to read this unless you're a lot younger than me or you're using a magnifying glass.  A picture of this is below. 
Note that having the badge manufacturer's name on the badge is known as having a "hallmark" and this helps to date, and authenticate, the badge.  The 5-point stars that started being issued in 2003 say "Blackinton" on the back, and it is much easier to read this than the old Metal Arts hallmark.  Note that some of the newer 1955-2003 stars have a distinct "Blackinton" hallmark somewhere on them.  I don't have one to look at, but I recall seeing it pretty easily on one a few years back.  I also don't know when, or at what star number, Metal Arts stopped making the 1955-issued stars and Blackinton took over, but believe it was in the late 1990's.
In 1989, a new style star came out for Detectives, with black enamel in the top panel which was the first "lower rank" badge to have any enamel.  These also had pointed tips. 
In 2003, the 1955-issued stars started to slowly get replaced by a new design.  The 2003 styles are copyrighted by the CPD and the stars have a serial number on the back.  The 2003 stars for Lieutenant and Captain have ball tips, but the balls are not true spheres - from the front, they look like ball tips, but upon close examination, they only look like full balls from the front - they are flat on the back. 
The 2003 stars have letters and numbers that are black enamel. 
Around 2004, CPD started issuing Duty Disability stars.  The center city seal is a different color scheme than the other 2003-issue stars and while there is no star number on the front, there is a serial number on the back.
In the very old Lieutenant's star down below a few pictures, the letters are soft fired enamel - the letters are indented into the front of the star, and filled in with black enamel.  The black color of the letters rests in the indentations in the star.  This has a 2 digit number on the back.  Can anyone give me more info as to when this old star might have been used?  The center seal shows wear as if it had been in a case.

Metal Arts hallmark - Metal Arts Co. Roch. N.Y.

Below - likely a catalog sample
Made by Blackinton with old seal

1955 to 2003 style Patrolman's star
No copper numbers on this reproduction; I still need this star

Retired Patrolman star
I still need this retired star

1991 to 2003 style Detective's star
I still need this star

ABOVE - the new style Detective star was worked on starting in 1988, with the first issued stars being put into service in August 1991.  It was the first non-exempt rank star to use enamel.
It was made to be 80 thousandths of an inch thick to help keep the enamel from flexing, and to help keep the star points from bending.  The other silver CPD stars in other ranks were only 64 thousandths of an inch thick.
In 1997, an Investigator star was authorized for Youth Officers and in 1998, the Gang Specialist star was authorized for gang crimes officers.  I still need these stars - and pictures of them.

1955 to 2003 style Sergeant's star
I still need this star

1955 to 2003 style Lieutenant's star
I still need this star

1955 - 2003 Captain's star
I still need this star

Old Reserve Corporal
I still need this Reserve star

POLICE RESERVES -- Here is what is said in CPD Special Bulletin, supplement Bulletin volume XLV, number 280, dated Oct. 6, 2004 on page 1 --
During World War I, due to a shortage of police officers, a Police Reserve was organized.  This reserve was used at parades and less dangerous assignments and was de-activated shortly after the war.
Page 2 of this pictured a reserve corporal star similar to what is pictured above.

Still need this Reserve star

Pre 1907
has old city seal; I still need this star

Still need this
Note the old seal and the position of the number

Still need this
Has the old seal

old sergeant's star
I still need this item

I still need this retired star

Below - issued in the 1980s
I still need this Retired star.

Another view of the Retired Star
Still need one of these

Duty Disability Star
Still Need one of these

I still need this retired Captain's star

Old star - age unknown - soft fired enamel letters
Hallmarked Meyer & Wenthe Chicago; # on the back; full ball tips; 3 inches across

AMVETS - American Veterans of World War II
old star

Still Need the below star
Can anyone say who would have received an Honorary star like this?

old Special Police - still need this one
The Y is explained below the pic containing the school guard patches - way below

novelty item - still need
seen in other ranks, too

junk novelty item
not in my collection; it's here just for show

Deputy Commissioner - obsolete rank since 1960
I still need this star

The above star has this ring insert on it
Does anyone have the story behind these ring inserts?

Still need the below star

gold retirement star from the 1930s
Still Need

Oldest badge on my web site - from 1889
This is the second badge used by the CPD

The above badge is the second one worn by CPD officers, and it dates to approximately 1889.


Note that the image of the Indian and the tall ship appear on opposite sides of where they appear now – the city seal was redesigned around 1906.


According to the March 2003 issue of Chicago Police Star magazine, page 3, here is information on the pictured badge:


“In 1889, a fancy silver shield replaced the star worn by Chicago patrolmen, but the experiment lasted only one month.”


Other information indicates that this badge was known as the coat badge, since it was worn on the outside of coats.  Additionally, this design or style was very unpopular with the officers, so in short order, policemen again started wearing a star instead of this shield.


This badge has the manufacturer’s stamp on the back – known as the hallmark.


Explosives Tech
This patch is believed to be a novelty item

Below - Honor Guard star patch

Honor Guard star - STILL NEED

Note the handcuffs between the axes

Pistol Team

The first two Pistol Teams were formed in 1974.  Each team had 5 members which represented the CPD in local, regional and national pistol matches.  Special caps were worn by the members which had special pie piece shaped patches on them (wish I had one so you could see a picture!).  The FOP Lodge Number 7 has supported the team financially since 1981.  The team has won many honors over the years.

Memorial patch


Patrolman Joseph Cali observed an auto parked illegally in a bus stop at 2103 W. Lake Street.  As Officer Cali exited his squad car and began writing the parking ticket, he was struck by a sniper's bullet fired from the third floor of a high-rise building.  Officer Cali died the following day.
The above information was obtained from the FOP Lodge 7 Police Memorial Monument, reprinted in the book, Chicago Police Department, Pictorial History, and from End of Watch (both are great books).
Of all the patches and other items in my CPD collection, this patch is among the most valued, since it memorializes an officer who gave his life in the line of duty.


Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 7

I still need the below star

Patch with star # 911, in honor of the heroes

Patch for the 2003 star style, copyrighted by CPD
I need the other 2003 star patches in other ranks - detective, sergeant, lieutenant and captain

for black vest covers - since summer 2009

for black vest covers - since summer 2009

for black vest covers - since summer 2009

for black vest covers - since summer 2009

In the Lieutenant's star patch above, it does not have ball tips like the Captain's star patch pictured below.
The metal stars for both of these ranks have ball tips.
Not sure if the missing ball tips on the Lieutenant's star patch was a mistake, or what.

for black vest covers - since summer 2009

for black vest covers - since summer 2009

Patch for the June 2006 police insignia show
The show was held in Rosemont, Illinois - a Chicago suburb -hence the rose on the star

And here is the "show star"
All of these stars had 2006 as the star number


Concerned Wives & Friends of the Chicago Police
Can someone tell us when this came out - it looks old