The History of the West Palm Beach Police Shoulder Patch
The modern uniform was developed in the 1930’s, as it was recognized that wool uniforms did not serve the officers very well in the sub-tropic climates. The blue uniform had a triangular patch, orang in color with the initials WPBPB on it. It is not known when the patch was first used, however; it was discontinued in 1948. Photographs exist of this patch and only one original patch has ever been located in a private collection.
The uniform was switched to cotton and tan in color, much to the relief of anyone who was expected to wear one. The shirt had a half moon shoulder patch depicting a palm tree and a bright yellow sun. West Palm Beach was embroidered in an arc across the top. The bottom was flat and simply said Police. This patch was in use from 1948 to 1980.
The tan uniform was used form the 1930’s until 1980 when Chief John Jameson ordered the uniforms traded in for new, navy blue light weight cotton-polyester blend zipper front shirts with light weight matching pants. The leather went from brown to black, used Velcro and made of Plastic, much easier to maintain than the natural leather.
When the change was made in the shirt color, the shoulder patch was changed. Captain James Griffin designed the shield-shaped patch, which depicted a blue state of Florida on a Silver background. This patch was used for six years and then updated by removing the State of Florida and adding a very colorful City Sal, which is currently in use.
The History of the West Palm Beach Police Department Motorcycle Unit
Information and Photos provided by the West Palm Beach, FL Police Department.