Gulf Stream’s police officers soon will be adding a burst of color to their shoulders.
Police Chief Richard Jones tapped into his inner artist after deciding the current shoulder patch was “very poor, at best” and did nothing to connect his department to the town it serves.
“I looked at the patch and I was trying to figure out its significant value to us as an organization. We really could not figure that out,” he told town commissioners on Nov. 9. “So, we designed a new patch … that incorporates the town seal and the history of the town into the Police Department’s patch and insignia.”
The new patch is triangular and shows the town seal’s familiar golfer, polo player and sailboat with a cluster of palm trees and a rising sun. When he sent it to the company making the patches, “They were very surprised at the number of color elements that we were requesting,” he said.
Capt. John Haseley, who with an outside artist helped Jones create the new emblem, passed out samples to get commissioners’ reactions.
“I think it looks great, much nicer,” Commissioner Joan Orthwein said.
The patch it replaces used elements from the state seal: a less dramatic sun behind a cocoa tree, steamboat and an Indian woman.
Mayor Scott Morgan had Jones model the new patch by holding it up over the old one on his uniform.
“The white from the previous patch stands out very well on your blue uniform, whereas the background here is blue. You want to put that over your patch, let’s see what it looks like,” Morgan said.
All agreed the new one is an improvement. “The yellow kind of makes it pop,” Orthwein said.
Jones, who also created a new patch for Ocean Ridge three years ago when he was on that town’s police force, said the change to the new design will be gradual.
“It will take us, you know, probably a year to transition so that we’re not spending money unnecessarily on new uniforms,” he said. “But all of our new officers and all the uniform replacements that we will begin doing immediately, we will start putting the new patch on.”