The patch that adorns all Rhode Island State Police uniforms today was designed 50 years ago by Lieutenant Hugh J. Frayne (ret.), #57, Class of 1946, while assigned to the Scituate Barracks. Many designs were submitted, but this design was preferred by troopers and Colonel Walter E. Stone, who made it regulation on uniforms in June of 1966. Worn only on the left shoulder of the uniform, the patch is a shield shape with a black background and red edging, showing the State House in gray with the American and state flags in full color. A banner with the words “RHODE ISLAND” in red lettering is above the flags with “STATE POLICE”, also in red lettering, underneath the State Capitol. In-between the flags is “1925” – the year the Division was created by the General Assembly. Compared to earlier versions of the patch, Lieutenant Frayne’s design added a new dimension; bright colors. Prior to this patch, only two patches were worn. It is unknown when the first patch was created and there is only one known photo of the patch adorning a uniform. According to sources, the shield shaped patch incorporated the words “RHODE ISLAND” curved over “STATE POLICE” in red lettering surrounded by a red border on a black background. The patch was worn only on the left shoulder. None of these patches are known to be in existence. In 1937, a new shoulder patch was chosen and was also only worn on the left shoulder. Similar to the previous patch, it was a black shield shape with a curved, red inner border. In the center of the patch was a large red anchor, representing the state seal, with a coiled rope and a banner with the state motto, “HOPE” across the anchor. The letters “R” and “I” flanked the anchor and banner in the upper corners with the words “STATE POLICE” below the anchor. There is little doubt that Retired Lieutenant Hugh J. Frayne, who retired in 1966 and passed away in 1989, would be proud to see Division members continuing to wear the patch he designed 50 years ago. NOTE: If anyone has the very first patch or has any photos of a trooper(s) wearing the first patch, we would like to hear from you.
The History of the Rhode Island State Police Motorcycle Unit
Information and Photos provided by the Rhode Island State Police