Police insignia from CHICAGO




Superintendent Brzeczek's hat (1980 - 1983)
This style hat is also used by Commanders and all higher ranks


Another exempt rank hat - still need
Has slightly different scrambled eggs design on the visor

The hats - Superintendent O.W. Wilson redesigned the hats in 1967.  The new "checkered band" hat was announced in May 1967.  As the story goes, he was familiar with the design of the police hats in England, where their hats have 3 layers of "checkerboard squares."  Their yellow raincoats sometimes have 2 layers of the squares on them.   He decided to use 2 layers for the CPD hats, with blue & white for police officers and yellow & blue for supervisors.  Security guards in Chicago couldn't use this hat design, in order for people to be able to immediately distinguish true police officers from security guards just by looking at the hat.  Security guards used to dress as closely as possible to the police officers, including blue shirts, dark blue pants, and pie piece/teardrop shaped shoulder patches.  But the hats were always different - no checkerboard squares for the security guards. 
The idea for the checkerboard squares on British police hats came about in 1932 by the Chief Constable of the Glasgow, Scotland Police. 
The checkerboard squares hats slowly started coming into use by the CPD starting Summer of 1967; there are pictures of some officers wearing the new style as early as September 1967.  There are versions for police officer/detective, sergeant, lieutenant/captain, and commander through superintendent.  These new hats were available for purchase on July 10, 1967.  The wearout period for the old hats was May 1, 1968.
Notice the "scambled eggs" on the visor of the hats pictured above - the higher ranking officers did not have this on their (old style) hats until May 1961.
The winter hats are 14 ounce round virgin wool crown and the summer hats are 10 to 10 1/2 ounce versions.  The frame band of the summer style hat is made of nylon yarn with ventilation holes 15 per inch in length and 22 per inch in width. 
There are 4 versions of hat badges (referred to as shields) -silver colored for police officer which has a number on it with no rank, silver colored detective that says just that, gold colored sergeant which says just that, and a gold colored one for all ranks from lieutenant on up that does not have a rank on it - and this is the only CPD hat shield that actually says "Police" and "Chicago" on it -- it says "Department of Police" and "City of Chicago."  It also says "Urbs in Horto," Latin for "City in a Garden."  These words are impossible to read unless you're inches away from the hat shield because the letters are the same color as the rest of the shield, and while this hat shield is for the highest supervisory ranks, it is the smallest of the CPD's hat shields.
At one time, there were also silver colored shields that said, Gang Specialist and one for Investigator.  I still need both of these.
While sergeants' and all other supervisors' hat shields are gold colored, the stars worn on uniform shirts and coats are silver colored for sergeants, lieutenants and captains, and this is true for the 1955-2003 stars as well as for the 2003-issue stars.  The use of gold colored hat shields for officers wearing silver colored uniform stars is unusual.
The police officers' hat shields were redesigned around 2003.  The old style had large numerals for police officers which were individually applied.  The new design still uses numbers for the police officers but they are thick, black engraved enamel rather than soldered on as separate silver colored numerals.  The background panel for the numbers is now a solid base rather than open, and the base is silver colored.  This makes the numbers more legible due to the high contrast.  The police officers' hat shield is the largest of the CPD's hat shields.  The shield number matches the star number.
The enameled numbers are slightly shorter in height than the numbers used on the old style hat shields, but the new numbers obviously won't fall off.  The new hat shields have a more pronounced curvature to them and have some other very minor differences to the old style hat shields - for example, in the Indian's headdress and in the center shield.
The CPD also has special hat shields worn by officers who are on the CPD Honor Guard.  These hat shields are similar to the current silver colored hat shields except instead of having any number, they say Honor Guard.  These officers also wear special stars which are similar to the current Police Officer stars except they have the words, Honor Guard, instead of having a star number.
The Detectives' hat shield is silver colored.  It was issued starting in 1989 when Detectives were issued new stars.  This hat shield was not redesigned in 2003, as the Patrol Officers' hat shields were redesigned.  Obviously, Detectives rarely wear a uniform - mainly for police funerals, memorial services and on election days.
Supervisors' hats have a gold button on the right and left sides to hold the upper ranks' strap or sergeants' cord in place.  These gold buttons say "Chicago City Police" and have a rendition of the city seal.  These buttons are also used on the sleeves of the wool coats and the pockets of all the coats.
The hat shields, which use the city seal, have had the same basic design at least since 1908 based on several photographs I have seen.  It was in 1907 or 1908 that the city redesigned the city seal, and this design is still in use.
I still need all of these hat shields.

Hat shields for Lieutenants & higher ranks
Image is watermarked & I still need these

Regarding the pictures of the hat shields -


This web site has existed since July 2005.  During that time, I have seen pictures of CPD stars and hat shields on ebay, Flickr, police insignia auction sites and private persons' web sites.  This includes reproductions of the current (2003-issue) stars.


As a result, some hat shield pictures are now on my site.  I still need these shields in my collection, but I have some decent pictures.  To reduce the chance of someone doing something blatantly stupid with these pictures, they are "watermarked" with the name of this web site.  I know this lowers your ability to see the shields clearly.  I also lowered the overall quality of the pictures of the shields.


While I have some pictures of the reproduced 2003-issue stars, those will not be pictured on this site to prevent acts of stupidity.  Thanks for your understanding.


Having said that --


The 2 shields pictured are different versions of the same thing.  These are worn by Lieutenants and all higher ranks. 


These shields are also worn on the headgear of members of the Pipes and Drums of the CPD, regardless of rank.


These 2 are next to each other to point out some differences between them.  Only a collector like me (spelled, f-a-n-a-t-i-c) would ever notice, or care.  These 2 shields were likely made at different times, and likely by different manufacturers.


Neither hat shield has the manufacturer's name stamped in it on the back, as some of the stars do.  This is typical for hat shields.  We're all left to wonder who made them.


OK - with all of that, here are the differences between these 2 shields:


LEFT - In the center of the eagle's body, the feathers drape down over the babe in the shell. 


LEFT - The shield is filled in with metal from the Indian's right knee, down to the Indian's right foot.  This portion is "open" in the shield on the right.


LEFT - The area between the Indian's inside right elbow toward the Indian's face is filled in with metal.


LEFT - there is more metal between the Indian's left ankle area down to his left foot.


Obviously, these are not major differences.  But collectors notice such things.  Wish I could say for sure which one is newer, as perhaps that came about with a different high bidder on the contract to make these.  I believe, based on photos, that the shield with the feathers draping down over the babe in the shell, is at least 30 years old.


In case you care (unlikely), there are at least 2 more variations of this hat shield -- both are similar to the left-pictured shield where the feathers go down over the babe in the shell.  The third variation has an opening between the Indian's right knee and his right foot.  The fourth variation is just like the left-pictured shield except it has an opening from the Indian's right elbow to his face.  We can now rest in peace with this trivial pursuit.


Pictured below are other hat shields, and some pictures show 2 different versions for the same rank, with the minor differences noted. 


Thanks to the guys who took the photos of the hat shields for me.

Exempt rank hat - Commander and above
I still need this newer version of the exempt rank hat

The "scrambled eggs" are made of a thick, metallic thread, which is difficult to clean, and the visor is made of felt-type non-reflective material. 
Also note that on the hat just above, the checkerboard squares is actually a hat band made out of elastic, which is different from the typical hat band used today.  Underneath, there's just the actual hat with no checkerboard squares design.  The hat bands seen on some of the hats on this site, including the "loose" hatbands I have pictured, are thicker and serve 2 purposes - they can be removed easily to be cleaned, and serve as head warmers in the winter.
On the Superintendent's hat shown at the top of this page, there is no loose hat band like what is used today.  The blue and yellow squares on the hat are part of its design, and are woven in such a way as to allow air to flow in to help keep the officer cooler in the summer.  In the winter, a solid hat band would be put on to keep the cold air from flowing in.

4 hatbands - top and 3rd one are old elastic style
2nd and bottom one are current style & are approx. 26 1/2 inches long

STILL NEED the Peer Support patch/armband

Lieutenant's and Captain's hat
The gold band is known as a strap

Sergeant's Hat
The gold band is known as a cord

side view - Sergeant's hat

I still need these Sergeant's hat shields
2 versions; older one on right; different where the ship's lower sail connects to the center logo

Traffic Division - Police Officer's hat
This hat became obsolete in 1982

The Traffic Division officers used to wear white hats for better visibility.  In mid-1982, the Traffic Division white hats became obsolete.  There were still some officers assigned at Loop intersections until approximately 1990.
The oldest patch pictured on my site is way above - it says "Chicago Police Traffic" and is piepiece/teardrop shaped.  Equally old may be the traffic wheel patch I have pictured with the "Chicago Police Traffic" patches way above. 
After that, when all officers started wearing the pie piece shaped shoulder patches in 1957, there was the patch with TD as the center insert.  By 1962, Traffic officers wore a patch which just had a T as the center insert.
Other traffic-related patches I heard of include the following - all of which I still need:
Traffic Enforcement Patches
#1 - pie piece/teardrop shaped with centered spoked wheel with wings on both sides.  1948-1950 - Traffic Enforcement.   Assigned to Districts in 2 door Coupes.  Would drive around in Districts enforcing traffic violations by writing parking/moving violations.
#2 - pie piece/teardrop with centered spoked wheel only.  Foot Patrol in Districts.  Assigned to intersections for traffic control with their whistles.
#3 - pie piece/teardrop with centered spoked wheel with arrow thru it.   Worn by AID [Accident Investigations Division] 1948.   Would respond to and handle traffic accidents.

Police Officer's & Detective's hat
Detectives rarely wear hats but when they do, this is it

Obsolete style for Patrol Officers-changed in 2003
I still need this style of hat shield

2003 style Patrol Officer hat shield

Novelty item
I still need this hat shield

Honor Guard hat shield
Still need this and the Honor Guard star

Detective hat shields - rarely seen-still need
2 versions - different lettering

Gang Specialist & Investigator shields
STILL NEED both of these shields

This one pre-dates the checkerboard squares hats

This hat is an old style which was used before the switch to the checkerboard squares style.  
This hat was an optional hat used in warm weather.  It is "basket weave" style and is known as an eight point hat.  The crown was wool on the regular hats (one is pictured just below).  It has a black strap around the front, which is either leather or plastic.  It also has gold buttons on the left and right sides and the buttons say "Chicago City Police" and have the city seal.  The buttons are identical to the buttons used on the present-day supervisors' hats.
In spite of the strap and the gold buttons, this hat was for patrol officers. 
In the picture below, this is the wool hat version.  It was used in the 1950s and 1960s, and I have a picture showing it being worn in 1949.  It was used until the switch to the checkerboard squares style, and the switch was announced in May 1967 and some officers were wearing the new hats that summer; others waited until 1968 to switch.

Old wool hat used in the 50s & 60s & maybe sooner
This was worn right before the switch to the checkerboard squares

CPD has hat bands which officers can wrap around their hats.   The very oldest ones are elastic, and elastic versions of the supervisors' and patrol officers' hatbands are pictured within these hat photos.  Hatbands come in the standard color schemes, blue and white for patrol, and blue and gold for supervisors.   There are also more colorful ethnic pride-type color schemes for the hat bands, apparently used in parades.  

Police Officers' & Sergeants' baseball hats
These came out around 2004

Forensic Services & Inspector


I still need the Deputy Chief & Deputy Superintendent baseball hats

The Chief of Patrol rank is now obsolete --
It is now a Deputy Superintendent position

This rank was eliminated by the current Boss
Still need the Assistant Superintendent & Superintendent baseball hats

Old riot helmet from the 1960s
This one has the gold band rather than a face shield

Old helmet with face shield up
The letters PO of Police are fuzzy due to scratches on the face shield

One of the old blue riot helmets from the 1960s
Same helmet as above, with face shield down

The dark spots seen on the helmet that are above the star are the remains of the number-stickers that went above the star.  What you see is actually sticky residue left on the helmet, in the shape of the various numerals.
These blue helmets were added as official equipment on June 8, 1966.
In the picture below, there is an unused helmet sticker to show more detail.

Closeup of the blue riot helmet's sticker
These stickers are still used on the current helmets

Newer style helmet
Still need this one

Sergeant's baton
The tassels and cord are grayish white


Another baton - same tassel color as above baton
Note the differently braided cord - possibly older

Loose Sergeant's tassel - 9 feet long tip to tip
It takes talent to braid this on to all of the batons for a promotion ceremony

Sgt. Dick Tracy received this on Jan. 2, 1962
Dick retired as a captain and lives near me

The cord/tassels are blue-gray for this one
The first 2 batons pictured have grayish white tassels and cord

Lieutenant/Captain baton - said to be very old
The color of the cord and tassels notes the rank

The batons - Sergeants had a gray or grayish-blue cord and tassels on their batons, Lieutenants and Captains had red.   The Superintendent has a baton with white cord and tassels.  
For the baton pictured just above - I was told it was old.  Based upon the color of the cord and tassels, the red is a bit dirty and looks almost maroon on this one.  On newer batons, the color is bright red.
I've heard 2 stories about exempt rank batons.  One story is that they receive no new baton when promoted to an exempt position.  The other story is that they receive a baton with yellow or gold cord and tassels.  Not sure which story is correct.
Included here is a picture of a presentation baton that has medium blue cord and tassels and a small silver colored "plaque" attached to it.  This plaque has the 5 point Chicago Police star on it with the words, Fred Rice and below that, it says Superintendent of Police.  Fred Rice was the bossman from 1983 to 1987.
The presentation baton is given out by the Superintendent.  There is a picture of the creator of the Dick Tracy cartoons, Chester Gould, receiving a presentation baton in the November/December 1980 issue of Star magazine.  The picture is in black and white, but someone who has seen it said this baton has red cord and tassels.
The medium blue color on the presentation baton may have come from a supply of that color cord and tassels which was actually a mistake.  I heard that dark blue was ordered for captains' batons, but the CPD received medium blue instead.  Equipment and Supplies couldn't return them to the manufacturer, so the CPD used them on presentation batons.  If this story holds true, this mistake contributed to captains eventually getting red cord and tassels on their batons ----
Regarding captains - I heard that when a lieutenant was promoted to captain years ago, a baton with dark blue cord and tassels was presented.  Not sure of that, but that's one story I heard.
At some point, the CPD stopped promoting lieutenants to captains around 1991.  When promotions to captain were re-started again around 2000, there weren't enough dark blue cord/tassels batons available, so they just used red ones which were already on hand.  This continues through the present.  One captain said when he was promoted to captain in 1987, his baton had the red cord and tassels.
The blue and red color schemes for Sergeants, Lieutenants and Captains continue today with the 2003-style stars - as seen in the picture on another page that shows the new star lapel pins.  Lieutenants and Captains had red piping on coat sleeves many years ago.
Depending upon the manufacturer of the batons, Sergeants' batons either had the grayish blue cord and tassels or a cord and tassels that looked more gray than anything.  But sergeants have had blue stripes on their shirts for many decades, and even the stripes on their coats are supposed to be dark blue - almost black.
Also note that supervisors' batons have a "bump" on the handle end, while patrol officers' batons presently do not, since there is no cord or tassel on the patrol officers' batons at this time.  However, in very old photos, such as from the early 1900s, patrol officers' batons had tassels on them.  Not sure what the color of the cord and tassels were since these are black and white photos.  But see down below.
As shown with the first 2 Sergeant's batons, there are 2 types of "cord" around the handles- the fancy wrapping as on the red cord  as well as the tighter-wrapped version as shown in one of the top Sergeants' batons pictured here.  I heard that at one time there was ONE lady employed at the police academy whose duties included making the cords for promotion ceremonies. 
I still need the Superintendent's baton with white cord and tassels (wish me luck on that one!), a presentation baton, an Honor Guard baton with yellow/gold cord and tassels pictured below and the pre-Honor Guard baton with black cord and black tassels-- 
There used to be black cord/tassells batons used at funerals for officers who died in the line of duty.  These were used before the formal Honor Guard was instituted.  A Sergeant from Special Activities would bring black shoulder cords and the batons and hand them out to district officers who would stand at the entrance of the church and act as an "honor guard".  The Sergeant collected them when it was over.
Nowadays, the CPD Honor Guard uses batons that have gold cord and tassels - seen below.
I've heard that there are batons with green cord & tassels for St. Patrick's Day.  Not sure if this is true, but it tells a good story.  If true, I need that one, too.

Below- Closeup of Lieutenant/Captain baton

Below - a Superintendent's baton - STILL NEED
Not sure which Superintendent had this one

Presentation baton - STILL NEED
From Superintendent Fred Rice -- 1983 to 1987

says Fred Rice Superintendent of Police
Has the Police Star on the left

5 batons to show the different colored tassels
The Patrol Officer's baton is the longest

Okay - for the purists out there - A.K.A. other collectors -- here are rough measurements in inches of the 5 batons pictured above, in case you care:
Supt. - 22  13/16
Presentation - 22  11/16
Lieutenant/Captain - 22  11/16
Sergeant - 22  13/16
Patrol Officer -  23 inches even

Below -possible older Captain's baton



Patrol Officer's baton

No tassels on these - but there used to be

The 3 pictures below show a baton with gold tassels and a cord that is red with greenish-blue  throughout.  If this is a CPD baton, it is VERY old.  I have seen black and white photos from the early 1900s showing CPD patrol officers carrying batons that had light colored tassels, but I don't know whether the baton pictured here is one of those.


Can anyone tell us whether this baton with gold tassels is, in fact, CPD?   Or - can you say for sure that it is for some other department?  Thx



Need your help on the below baton
Is the above baton an old CPD baton?



STILL NEED the below baton used by the Honor Guard
Above - Honor Guard baton

Below - Honor Guard patch
A similar Honor Guard star patch is on Page 4

Left - Leather baton holder
Right - Leather strap to hold the radio microphone to the shoulder

CPD Telescoping Baton
Extends from 9 1/2 inches to 25 inches

Tip of the telescoping baton end cap
Brass seal is similar to that of the CPD handcuff key pictured on another page