My father has a police badge. To the children of a police officer, a badge is the symbol of his who he is and what he does. The police badge is something cherished by his family. They also become familiar with its different aspects, such as the evolutions it goes through and some of its uses.
First, a police badge says to the children that they have a hero for a father. Most children of a police officer will recognize at one point how dangerous the job is. When Dad comes home with black tape over his badge, then they know that another police officer was killed in the line of duty. That black banded badge is a reminder that he is risking his life too. Yet, at the same time, the badge itself is a reminder that he survived the police academy and went through rooky training. To his children, this makes him superman.
Next, it was interesting to watch the evolution of the police badge. My father changed ranks, which is on the badge and moved to another section of the police department. He moved from a patrol officer to a detective. His badge moved from the front of his police uniform to the pocket of a pair of slacks. This move of his badge to his pocket, a less obtrusive place also meant something. Dad was now not only a police officer, but also that almost mythical thing called a detective. He had to wear plain clothes, so the crooks did not know he was a police officer. In fact, he even had to hide the badge in his pocket. Besides, it was even cooler to tell your friends that your dad was a police detective.
Lastly, it was fun to watch your dad use his police badge. If in the city in which he worked, he always had to have his badge on his person. If there was a situation and the police arrived, he would pull it out his badge, if he had not already used it. The authority of the police badge was something the kids understood.
Growing up with a police officer for a father meant that you were sensible of the meaning behind his badge. It showed your Dad was a hero, what position he held and was important even off duty. The police badge is equally as important to the family as to the officer.