Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Who Is That Handsome Guy?

Bob Marlow, left, General Manager of The Badge Company of New Jersey, discusses badge details with a customer at the recent Police Security Expo in Atlantic City.

The Police Security Expo is one of several trade shows at which we exhibit each year. When you see our distinctive booth backdrop with our badge logo, stop by and say hello to Bob, Sue, or Rebbecca. Of course, while you're there we invite you to take a look at our badges, leather goods, and other public safety products.

Can't make it to one of the shows? We will be happy to mail a catalog to you, just send a note to or give us a call.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Jersey In The Spotlight

New Jersey and Virginia are the only two states that hold their gubernatorial elections in the year following a presidential election, with the result that these elections tend to get more than the usual share of national attention and are often seen as referenda on the party of the sitting president. So sure enough, this year there is considerable national attention on the New Jersey contest between Democrat incumbent Jon Corzine and Republican challenger Chris Christie, and considerable commentary on how this election may reflect on President Obama.

This time around the principal issue confronting the candidates is the financial condition of the state, and financial considerations are coloring the debate on all issues, from school funding to stem-cell research to gay marriage to property tax relief.

But while New Jersey’s off-year election tends to turn the spotlight on the state, New Jersey is by no means alone in the choppy financial waters. California, of course, has been in the news because its financial crisis reached the point that the state began issuing IOUs for state debts. New York has been in the news because its own financial woes have been exacerbated by a paralyzing struggle in the legislature for party control. All states and cities nationwide are battling the financial demons.

Sadly, the campaign advertising we have seen so far – from both sides – has been less about the economy or other issues and more about whether the other guy is trustworthy. It looks like this campaign will be just another exercise in mutual character assassination. Is this really what we want to do while the spotlight is on us?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Is Gunfire Funny?

No. But we can’t help but laugh at this story published by the Star-Ledger:

Police Arrest Two Newark Brothers Who Shot Each Other

NEWARK -- Police arrested two brothers who wounded each other Monday in the city's North Ward.

Alfatir Dowell, 18, and his brother Andre Dowell, 24, were in custody, Detective Todd McClendon said today. Alfatir Dowell was wounded in the hand and torso, while Andre Dowell was wounded in the arm, he said.

The brothers exchanged gunfire about 7 p.m. at 58 Cedar Lane after a dispute about money inside their Franklin Avenue residence, McClendon said. They were treated and released from Clara Maas Hospital.

It's not funny, especially coming on the heels of a spate of shootings in Newark and in Jersey City, shootings which resulted in the deaths of several civilians and the death of Jersey City Police Officer Marc DiNardo.

But still: Two brothers. In their home. Exchanging gunfire. We have to laugh, because otherwise the whole situation is too sad to consider.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Forty-Year Perspective

Today, July 20, marks the 40th anniversary of the landing of the first manned spacecraft on the moon. We remember it well. We were traveling on the Garden State Parkway, riding shotgun with our father, and listening to the radio broadcast of the event. To this day we can point out the location along the Parkway where we heard the words, "Tranquility base here, the Eagle has landed."

The moon landing, and the "one small step" the following day, were two of the momentous events of a momentous year, 1969. Consider: The Vietnam war and the anti-war protests. John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s "bed-in." Segregation in private clubs was struck down by the Supreme Court. "Midnight Cowboy" was in theatres. Woodstock. "Broadway Joe" Namath operated a nightclub called Bachelors III. Mickey Mantle’s number was retired. Charles DeGaulle stepped down as president of France. The Mets won the World Series. Judy Garland died at age 47. 20-year-old Charles, son of Elizabeth, became Prince of Wales. Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones died. Senator Ten Kennedy drove off that bridge. Charles Manson’s followers went on their murderous rampage. The "Chicago 7" trial began. The Boeing 747 first took flight. The last public performance of the Beatles took place.

And the hottest cop on TV was Steve McGarrett, of Hawaii Five-O. Book ‘em, Danno.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Time to Order Crossing Guard Badges is NOW

If your community needs school crossing guard badges for this Fall, the time to order them is NOW. Because delivery of custom badges is typically about four weeks, once we reach the end of July it will not be possible to meet school opening dates. Don’t delay!

In New Jersey, the law requires that school crossing guards wear custom badges that are numbered and bear the name of the municipality and the words "Crossing Guard." In other states where custom badges are not required, we can provide a choice of low-cost generic badges, but even our custom badges are competitively priced for these tough times.

In addition to offering badges, we have available other items used by crossing guards, including whistles, reflective safety vests, gloves, and paddle signs. Order now so that your town is ready for back-to-school.

Monday, July 13, 2009

So What's New?

Forty years ago today, on July 13, 1969, protesters disrupted the American Medical Association's annual convention in Manhattan, demonstrating against the "unjustly high cost of medical care."

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Questioning Priorities

It is no secret that states and cities nationwide are battling the financial demons.

Sarasota, Florida, a resort town more accurately described as a city, has a police department that has lost more than 10 per cent of its force in recent years, largely through attrition without new hires to take the place of those leaving. Fearing that further budget cuts will affect the department to an even greater degree, current and retired Sarasota police officers staged a protest in front of city hall on July 1st.

Sarasota’s city manager has proposed budget cuts in all city departments, including police. So the questions have been raised: Should budget cuts be across-the-board or targeted? Should a recreation department and a police department suffer equal cuts or be treated individually? Should a police department hire new officers, even in these tough times?

Sound familiar? It should. Questions similar to these are being asked in New Jersey, and all across the country. It remains to be seen which states, counties, and municipalities will hit upon the right combination of answers.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hamster Crime

Recently, an officer in a jurisdiction not far from the home of The Badge Company responded to an evening report of someone trying to break the door to a hotel room.

Upon arrival at the scene, the officer found three people, one of whom claimed that her hamster had been stolen. Apparently, they were attempting to break into the room of the alleged hamster-napper, although they denied that they were trying to break in.

The officer retrieved the hamster, returned it to the 38-year-old owner, and elected not to charge anyone with anything.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Put your John Hancock on it

The 4th of July reminds us of many things, including John Hancock.

You are probably familiar with the phrase, to "put your John Hancock" on something. It means, of course, to put your signature on it, and it stems from the prominent signature of John Hancock on the Declaration of Independence.

Hancock was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence, and the story goes that he signed his name very large on the center of the document, so that everyone else would have to sign around his name. It worked, because we all remember his name today, more than 225 years later.

In 1862, the John Hancock insurance company was chartered, and to this day the insurance company’s logo is a variation on the Declaration of Independence signature. Memorably, a few decades ago, the insurance company had an advertising jingle in which a choir of voices sang

Put your John Hancock
On a John Hancock
Life insurance