July 18, 2017

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Don’t Tarnish the Badge

Gordon Graham
Category: Public Safety

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for public safety.

Behave in a manner that does not tarnish the badge. 

Today’s Tip is for everyone who wears a badge and everyone in public safety. 

Physically, the badge is a decorative piece of metal or it can also be embroidery on a shirt. Symbolically, it is much more. In many academies, recruits are told not to “tarnish the badge;” not to soil or ruin the reputation of the agency or the profession.  

According to lore, a badge is a symbol of power that stems from the Middle Ages when knights wore coats of arms for the nobility they served. Now much smaller, badges are often worn over the heart. The badge is a widely recognized symbol of authority. It is also a symbol of public faith and trust 

Are you doing anything that tarnishes the badge? I am not talking about the kind of corruption that lands you in prison or makes for a successful Hollywood movie. I am talking about things that you might do without really thinking about the effects. It does not take a criminal offense to undermine the sacred trust that society has placed in us.  

Each time someone uses a badge to get a free or discounted meal, to cut in line, get a prime parking space, or access an event without paying, our reputation is tarnished. The community is watching, and many are taking pictures too. 

Remember our Code of Ethics. Live a life unsullied, and as an example to all. Behave in a manner that does not discredit your agency or tarnish the badge.  

That’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham, signing off.  

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