Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Ol' Heave-Ho-Ho-Ho

In this photo, taken in 2008, Police Chief Dan Pancoast of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, throws a Christmas tree. Why? Because that’s part of how he celebrates Christmas – by participating in the annual "Tree Toss" which raises money for charity.

Last year, Chief Pancoast won the contest over former Bethlehem Police Commissioner Stuart Bedics. This year, current Police Commissioner Jason Schiffer pitched a tree some 17 feet, defeating Pancoast’s throw of 15 feet 3 inches.

Lots of good-natured ribbing was taking place, as is predictable when any group of men enter into any sort of contest. Chief Pancoast noted that the mayor keeps changing police commissioners "faster than some hotels changes linens." The problem with that, said the Chief, is that "They keep getting younger and stronger."

A Christmas Tree Toss is a rather unusual event, but a worthwhile one since it benefits charitable organizations. This year the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Turning Point of Lehigh Valley were among the beneficiaries.

Photo by Bill Adams, courtesy of the Express-Times

Friday, December 16, 2011

How to Trade in Stolen Property

In the photo is a rather uncommon car, a 1962 Dodge Lancer station wagon. This particular Lancer has an interesting story, a story about its theft and recovery.

A fellow named Stan Aiton bought this car only last year, but he’d been saving parts for the restoration and modification of just such a car for the last 41 years -- ever since a neighbor gave him some rare Lancer parts when he was 15 years old. So Stan was crushed when the Lancer, fitted with those parts, was stolen earlier this year. Thanks to the actions of some Good Samaritans and understanding police, however, the car is back in Stan’s possession.
Stan bought the Lancer last March when living in Virginia and almost immediately began stripping it down for restoration.  He said the car was about 60 percent complete – including new paint, a new windshield and newly reupholstered seats – when he took a job in Texas in January of this year. Without a garage in which to keep the Lancer after his move, Stan stored it in a 24-foot enclosed trailer, and kept the trailer parked at a storage lot in Duncanville, Texas.
In late July, the trailer and everything in it disappeared. Stan filed a police report, but investigators had little to go on until the trailer was spotted in August wearing another set of stolen license plates. The police arrested the man hauling the trailer on multiple counts of grand theft auto, accusing him of using the trailer to steal other cars, but the trailer no longer contained the Lancer or any of the parts Stan had been collecting for years. It looked as if Stan wouldn’t see the contents of the trailer ever again, but as it turned out, the Lancer hadn’t gone very far.
Earlier this month, Stephen Ramsey and Adrian Britton at Ramsey’s Rods and Restoration in Fort Worth, Texas – less than two hours from Duncanville – were offered the Lancer for $1,500 by a couple looking to bail their nephew out of jail. "We get calls all the time from people who want to sell their cars, so I went out to take a look," Britton said. When the sellers began bringing out boxes upon boxes of parts, Britton began to suspect something was up, but brought it back to the shop anyway. "Steve just looked into my eyes and said, ‘That’s not right.’" The Lancer didn’t have its VIN (vehicle identification number), but after some digging online, Ramsey found message board posts from Stan asking people to keep an eye out for his car.
Within an hour, calls were placed to at least three different police agencies and an email was sent to Stan. The next morning Stan and the police all converged at Ramsey’s, and Stan positively identified the Lancer and all the parts as his. "We already work with the Fort Worth Auto Theft Task Force Unit, so we were able to convince them not to impound the car and let Stan take it directly home," Britton said. "We were also able to get the paperwork done on the spot to straighten out the missing VIN." Ramsey was also able to recover a portion of the money spent on the car, Britton said.
Stan, who was able to bring the Lancer home this past Saturday, said he found that the thief or somebody who had access to the car while it was missing had started installing some trim on the car, but scratched the paint in doing so and damaged some other parts. "It was like they were going to get it running," he said. "I guess the missing crankshaft made them decide they were over their head."
This story and the accompanying photo came to us from our friends at Hemmings Motor News. The selfless actions of the folks at Ramsey’s Rods and Restoration, who paid money for the car and then sought out its rightful owner, are noteworthy, as is the decision by the Fort Worth Auto Theft Task Force Unit to permit the car to go back to the rightful owner without impound.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Loss Deeply Felt

The law enforcement community -- and the community as a whole -- suffered a sad and startling loss today with the news that Edmund Spinelli, Jr., Police Chief in Carneys Point, New Jersey, died at his home at the age of 45.

Far, far too young. As of this writing the cause of death has not yet been determined, but it has been reported to appear to be a heart attack.

Chief Spinelli served with both the NJ State Police and the Penns Grove Police Department prior to joining the Carneys Point Police Department. Those with whom he worked and those whom he served speak highly of the man, his professionalism, and his integrity.

A Common Misconception

On Tuesday of this week three corrections officers from the Mountainview Youth Correctional Facility were hospitalized after being attacked by inmates. Fortunately, no injuries were life-threatening.

The facility is located only a few miles from the home offices of the Badge Company of New Jersey, and a common misconception in the neighborhood is that it houses kids. After all, it is called the Mountainview Youth Correctional Facility.

However, inmates at this facility range in age up to 32. Not exactly children, and hardly a benign environment for corrections officers. No matter which facility in which they work, New Jersey corrections officers face persons and situations that few citizens would wish to face.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dial 866 and Say "I Do"

Back in July we wrote of getting telephone calls where the caller asks whether this is FedEx.  It is not, but as it turns out our toll-free number is only a few digits off from the FedEx number, so a few careless callers a a month get us when what they want is FedEx.

We wondered whether FedEx gets calls from people seeking badges.

Today a new wrong number has cropped up.  So far today we have received two calls from persons seeking, the toll-free number for which is identical to ours except for the first three digits.

Ours is 800.  Theirs is 866.

Still, it is a sales opportunity for us.  We have in the past sold beach badges to persons planning beach-themed wedding receptions.  So maybe we need to change our telephone greeting to "Thank you for calling the Badge Company.  May we help plan your wedding?"

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Front Page News

It’s right there, on the front page of the November 17 edition of the Star-Ledger, above the fold, where it deserves to be: A story about a Newark cop whose heroic action is not a one-time thing, it is ongoing. Check out the story here.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Come See Us in A.C.

This week, on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, representatives of the Badge Company of New Jersey will once again be at the annual New Jersey State League of Municipalities Conference in the Atlantic City Convention Center, in booth #236.

We will have new products and new catalogs available, along with more badge choices than any other source. Stop by!

It is the 96th NJLM convention, which has been held in the new Atlantic City Convention Center since that facility opened in 1997. Prior to that time the conference was held in the old Convention Hall, shown in the vintage postcard photo above. The new facility is a great one, but the old Convention Hall has been fully refurbished and renamed Boardwalk Hall, and plays host to concerts, sporting events, and much more.

We look forward to seeing many old friends and meeting new ones this week.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Knee Jerks

When the news first broke this past Monday that Newark officer Michael Morgan had been fatally shot outside a strip club in Paterson at 3 AM, there was much speculative nonsense on the online news sites from nameless pinheads. The speculation centered on why he was at a Paterson strip club at 3 AM.

Being outside a Paterson strip club at 3 AM may not be the wisest thing to do, but nobody – and certainly not a police officer – deserves to be fatally shot for doing so.

As it turns out, the reason that Morgan was at the strip club was because he was with a group of fellow officers, celebrating a birthday. Again, perhaps not the wisest time and place for a birthday party but certainly nothing like the inappropriate behavior suggested by anonymous internet trolls.

The shooting arose from an attempted robbery of the officer and a companion. Newark Mayor Cory Booker got it right when he said, "Some two-bit criminals stole his life from his family, from the community and from his country. And for what? Some credit cards. Some chump change."

Good police work has at least one of those two-bit criminals in custody as we write. But we remain annoyed at the clueless knee-jerk comments from the online knee jerks.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pulled Over

Earlier this year we blogged about championship-winning motorcycle racer James "Bubba" Stewart being arrested for impersonating a police officer. Now his case has been adjudicated.

The arrest arose from an incident in which Stewart, driving a Toyota pickup, used red and blue flashing lights he bought at a flea market to pull over a car not far from his Florida home. Unfortunately for Stewart, the car he tried to pull over was occupied by several real police officers.

The initial charge of impersonating an officer was reduced to a misdemeanor charge of using inappropriate flashing lights on a motor vehicle. This week Stewart pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor and the court in Osceola County fined him $500 and ordered him to complete 75 hours of community service.

Perhaps his community service can include him telling his many young fans how colossally dumb it is to put flashing lights in your car and pretend that you’re a cop.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Racing with the State Police

Yesterday’s announcement by the Governor and others that a Formula One race would be coming to New Jersey in 2013 included a brief mention of an important distinction between New Jersey and virtually all of the other states: In New Jersey, all motor racing falls under the oversight of the State Police.

Where the other states largely ignore the matter, in New Jersey there exists rules and regulations governing the design and operation of races tracks, the safety standards to which competing vehicles must adhere, and more. These rules and regulations are found in Title 13, Law and Public Safety, Chapter 62. Motor Vehicle Race Track Rules, and interested parties can find them online at .

While these rules and regulations have been around for over 50 years they are updated regularly. Racing, after all, is quite different today than it was 50 years ago. Happily, one of those differences is that today it is much safer than it was 50 years ago, and it is no exaggeration to say that the New Jersey Division of State Police has played a significant role in those safety improvements.

Today, Troopers visit New Jersey’s racing facilities regularly, just as they have for over 50 years. They work with speedway operators and individual competitors to ensure that the requirements are being understood and met.

Between now and the waving of the green flag over Formula One in New Jersey there will be much interaction between the State Police and the event organizers. On race day in 2013, you can be sure that you will see a State Police presence at the track, concerning themselves not only with the usual large-event subjects such as traffic and crowd control, but also with the safe conduct of the event.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Most Distinctive Police Car

This black V8-powered roadster was once Scotland Yard’s first line of defense against speeding bikers and criminals with high-powered sedans, and it is scheduled to be auctioned off later this month in England.

This police-issue 1962 Daimler SP250 Dart will cross the block at on October 22. It’s one of 26 Daimler Darts purchased new to serve as high-speed pursuit vehicles for the Metropolitan Police Service of London.

At the time, it was reported in the Daily Mirror that the car "will be a great help in curbing the menace of the ‘ton uppers’ – hooligan motorcyclists who boast of doing a ‘ton’ (100 MPH) in built-up areas. If necessary the Darts could also be used to chase car bandits – who have often escaped in the past because their getaway cars were much more powerful than ordinary police saloons."

Lest you think that the police in the UK have taprooms, a "saloon" in the King’s English is what we in the States term a sedan.

This and the other cars ran Daimler’s 140hp hemi-head 2.5-liter V-8s and were equipped with Borg-Warner three-speed automatic transmissions.

The example being auctioned was decommissioned from police service in 1967, then used as an official course car for 13 years at the Goodwood Revival. Much of the original police equipment remains with the Dart, including the chrome Winkworth police bell that warned of the car’s rapid approach.

If you are interested in buying a distinctive British police pursuit vehicle, visit .

The photos appearing here are courtesy of the auctioneers and the story came to us from our friends at Hemmings Motor News.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Going Up?

Another amusing recent local news item:

About a dozen people stuck in an elevator at the Township Public Safety Building were rescued through the elevator car hatch on Monday night around midnight.

The elevator was stuck between the second and third floors. The elevator occupants were leaving a meeting of the township Zoning Board of Adjustment, which adjourned about 11:30 p.m. There was no illness or injury reported.

Okay, there’s nothing funny about getting stuck in an elevator. But, if you are going to get stuck in an elevator, getting stuck in the "Public Safety Building" has a certain irony to it.

Members of the local emergency services squads assisted with this rescue.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Life for an Old Rig

All across the country, smaller communities often acquire fire apparatus and ambulances second-hand, from larger communities. This is an economic reality, and typically the small communities do an excellent job of making do with something less than the absolute latest and greatest.

This is true here in New Jersey as well, where the fire company in a very small town not far from the offices of the Badge Company of New Jersey just put its second used ambulance into service.

"This is like a retirement home for ambulances," the Fire Chief quipped, but with wise budgeting and wise spending the community was able to refurbish the ambulance to the extent that it can scarcely be distinguished from a new one.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pull Over

The last Ford Crown Victoria rolled off a Canadian assembly line yesterday, marking the end of the big Ford cars that have been popular with police departments for decades.

Including civilian models, since 1979 almost 10 million Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Cars – so-called Panther Platform vehicles – have been sold. But sales numbers have been falling steadily in recent years due to changing consumer preferences and demand for better fuel economy and performance.

In recent years the cars have only been offered to fleet buyers, not individual retail customers. Now all production has stopped. Ford says that it sold about 80,000 Crown Victorias and Town Cars combined last year. That figure just wasn't enough to support a factory capable of producing 250,000 cars a year.

The Crown Victoria has been popular with police and fleet users because of its roominess, ruggedness and relative simplicity. The Panther Platform was an old-fashioned body-on-frame design which, while heavier than other cars, has an excellent reputation for being able to withstand heavy, punishing use. The Crown Victoria has also been an easy-to-service vehicle.

Ford has already begun marketing vehicles to take up the Crown Victoria's role in police fleet use. The automaker has started producing a specially designed Taurus Police Interceptor as well as a version of the Explorer tailored for police use. Chrysler and General Motors are marketing their own police car options with the Charger and the Caprice PPV.  And Carbon Motors, about whom we wrote back in 2008, is still planning to produce their own specialty police car.

Police agencies aren’t the only fleet operators mourning the loss of the Crown Vic. Taxi companies and livery service companies face some hard choices. Vehicles such as the Ford Transit Connect van are being marketed as a taxi cab, along with a Nissan van. For livery service companies Ford is making a special version of the Lincoln MKT, a large crossover SUV.

In one sense, we have been though this before. When Chevrolet stopped making the large, body-on-frame rear-drive Caprice in 1996, police officers nationwide were unhappy to see it go. But the Crown Victoria was a readily-available alternative, and Ford through the years kept tweaking the car to improve its suitability for police service.

But today the alternative choices are not as obvious. The Charger has ample performance but is smaller; the Caprice PPV is a new and as-yet unproven model in the American market; and the Ford replacements are based on front-wheel-drive designs, heretofore weaker for police use. The Carbon Motors entry simply isn’t here yet. Fleet buyers have a headache on their hands.

The Ford Taurus Police Interceptor

The Ford Explorer Police Interceptor

The Chevrolet Caprice PPV

The Dodge Charger Pursuit

The Carbon Motors e7

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Clutch Play II

It has happened again.

Last year we wrote about thieves in Philadelphia who had to abandon a FedEx truck they were hijacking, because it had a manual transmission and none of them knew how to drive it.
In today’s news:
A Jersey City man was robbed late Monday, but was spared losing his 2007 Infiniti when the thieves couldn't drive a stick shift vehicle.
As the victim was removing items from the trunk of his car about 10:50 p.m., a man in his mid-20s walked up to him and pointed a silver revolver at his face, reports said. An accomplice, also in his mid-20s, took credit cards from the victim, as well as two cellphones and an Apple iTouch and his house and car keys.
The robbers jumped in the Infiniti, but they couldn’t get the car in gear and fled on foot.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Storm Update

On Friday, we posted that we were holding shipments until Monday, for the reason that Hurricane Irene was projected to come through our area.  Friday shipments + weather events = at least one lost shipment, in our experience.

What we forgot to anticipate was that we would have no power on Monday!  Without power, we were not able to process anything, including shipments.

The power was restored Tuesday afternoon, and we have begun the process of getting caught up.  Thank you for your patience!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Irene Has Us Holding

It remains to be seen how bad hurricane Irene will be in our area.  Weather forecasters are predicting potential doom and gloom for this weekend as the storm approaches.

What we’re predicting is slightly longer delivery times.

Today, Friday, we have placed all outgoing shipments on hold. We have learned, through too many years of experience, that the combination of a Friday shipping date and a big weather event over the weekend is a recipe for at least one lost shipment. So today’s shipments will depart here on Monday, instead.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Whole Lotta Shakin'

The earthquake centered in Virginia on August 23 rattled folks from Altanta to Boston. Here at the Badge Company of New Jersey, it rattled us just about as much as we care to be rattled by such things.

Having never previously experienced an earthquake, it took us a few seconds to realize what was going on. We had a few "what the ?" moments before grasping the situation.

Having never previously experience an earthquake, we were unprepared for how it turned the walls and floors into Jell-O. We would have guessed that the whole room might shake in a manner similar to when a heavy truck goes by, but no, the whole room wobbled in a disconnected and disorienting way.

The fact that our offices are on the second floor may have slightly intensified the effect; we can only imagine what it may have been like in taller buildings.

Reportedly, it was a relatively shallow earthquake, contributing to its effect being felt over so large an area.

It was also reported to be the largest east coast earthquake in 67 years, making it truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most people in this part of the country. Once the shaking stopped, a friend quickly posted the message, "Time to cross ‘earthquake’ off the bucket list."

Monday, August 15, 2011

There is No End...

... to the supply of stories about dumb criminals. From today’s news:

A 35-year-old man was arrested Sunday night after he fell asleep during a burglary at a shuttered restaurant and his snoring led police to his hiding spot, police said.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What's a Devin?

In this case, a Devin is something found at the 2011 "National Night Out" event conducted by the Hunterdon County Sheriff’s Office not far from the Badge Company of New Jersey’s offices.

It is an exceptionally uncommon American-built sports car from 1958, and this example, owned by a gentleman from a nearby town, is immaculate. A Corvette engine provides plenty of power for this fiberglass-bodied gem.

It is called a Devin for the same reason that a Honda is called a Honda. It’s the name of man who founded the company. Bill Devin built a series of Devin sports cars in California in the 1950s and 1960s.

The Hunterdon County Sheriff’s Office included a "cruise night" car show as part of it’s "National Night Out" event, which is why the Devin was there. But there were also such things as a dunk tank ("Dunk a Detective!" was the draw), a high striker, food stands, commercial vendors, fund-raisers, prize drawings, and more.

Happily, we saw plenty of families attending – just as was intended.

"National Night Out" is a distinctive crime and drug prevention event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW), and involves citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations and local officials from over 15,000 communities throughout North American and on military bases worldwide.

National Night Out is designed to increase crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs, and strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships. There is no set agenda; cities, towns and neighborhoods observe National Night Out with a variety of events and activities. While some places had block parties, others had parades, contests, or flashlight walks.

In our neighborhood, it included a chance to see this rare car.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sorry, Wrong Number

Here at the Badge Company of New Jersey we have received a few phone calls recently, where the caller asks, "Is this Fed Ex?"

Um, no.

So we decided to see why this was happening. As it turns out, the toll-free number for Fed Ex is 1-800-GoFedEx, which translates into 1-800-463-3339.

Our toll-free number is 1-800-469-9333.

There has to be a fair amount of transposing of digits to get from the Fed Ex number to our number, but it happens.

We wonder how many calls Fed Ex gets where the caller asks, "Is this the Badge Company?"

You can always call our regular line, 1-908-735-7700. But sometimes those callers ask, "Is this Clinton Honda?" The Honda dealer’s number differs by one digit.

Maybe if you want to ship your Honda by Fed Ex we can help you, but otherwise we’ll stick to badges.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Great Headline

From recent local news:

Man Arrested after Allegedly Snorting Cocaine While Leaning on an Unmarked Police Car

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011


First responders are witness to a wide variety of events, often tragic, sometimes comical, and at times just disappointing.

This Spring, a fellow in Massachusetts decided to take his restored 1938 Plymouth our for a drive. On Interstate I-195 east of New Bedford and, somewhat ironically, less than 40 miles from the historic Massachusetts town of Plymouth, a mechanical failure caused the gas tank to be punctured.

The three photos below tell the story.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Jail Statistics

According to the American Jail Association (, the inmate population in U.S. jails has declined for the second consecutive year. The stat announced by the U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics revealed that the overall jail population declined by 2.4 percent in the 12 months ending June 30, 2010, dropping from 767,434 to 748,728.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Not Exactly a Clean Getaway

In a southern New Jersey town, police officers responded to a store on a report of a shoplifter. A description of the suspect and his apparel was given, and not long afterward an officer detained a person wearing the described clothes, walking not far from the store.

The officer found that the suspect was carrying two 100-ounce bottles of laundry detergent in a bag from a different store, although the suspect had no receipt for their purchase.

Upon being arrested the suspect said that in retrospect he should have hidden in the woods for twenty minutes because he saw all of the police cars in the area.

A store employee confirmed that the suspect was the shoplifter. The employee said she had seen him come into the store, empty handed, and walk up an aisle. He came back down the aisle, sweatshirt bulging with something, and walked out of the store.

She also said that she had been wondering who had been stealing all of the Tide.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Hoboken 500

As the Memorial Day holiday approaches, a news item indicates that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway encompasses more more area than Hoboken, and that it has 60 percent more full-time employees than does Hoboken.

What caused Hoboken to be selected as the city to which the Speedway was to be compared is not known to us, but this same news items tells us that come race day this Sunday the Speedway will have about seven times the number of “residents” than Hoboken.

Let's hope that traffic moves more sedately in Hoboken this weekend than it does on the iconic Speedway.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Can You Hear Me Now?

In the news today is a report that police in Jersey City are investigating terroristic threats made to Dickinson High School from a public pay phone.

This is an astounding story. There is still a public pay phone someplace?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ya Think?

Here’s one for Jay Leno’s "Headlines" feature. In our local newspaper this week appeared the following headline:

Bearded Man Steals Razors

The accompanying article reported that "a tall, burly, bearded man" stole $658 worth of razors and blades from a nearby Walgreen’s store.

The article explained that the man cased the place for several minutes before filling a shopping basket with the shaving supplies and placing the basket near the front door. He then went through the security detector gate, reached around the gate and grabbed his loot, so as to evade the anti-theft alarm system.

It was further stated that police are looking for a 6-foot 3- or 4-inch man with a large frame, who drives a silver Honda. The article then concluded with this howler:

"He may or may not have a beard at this time."

Friday, April 8, 2011

Shop with the Stars

From the Police Blotter:

A discount-store employee asked for the sheriff office’s help in getting a woman out of his store. She had been there for several hours and said she was waiting for George Clooney and Pete Townshend.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pull Over! Oh, never mind...

Florida police this past Monday arrested championship-winning motorcycle racer James “Bubba” Stewart for impersonating a police officer after the 25-year-old flashed red and blue lights at a car full of real cops.

Stewart and a friend illuminated illegal flashing police lights on Stewart's customized Toyota Tundra and pulled over a car near the Orlando International Airport, not far from Stewart's Florida home.

Unfortunately for Stewart and his friend, the car was occupied by two off-duty Florida Highway Patrol officers and a county deputy sheriff. According to police reports, Stewart pulled his Tundra alongside the car, at which point the officers then lowered their car's window and flashed their badges. Stewart reportedly extinguished the flashing lights immediately and sped off toward the airport.

The officers notified additional real police, and they located and arrested Bubba and his buddy at the airport. Stewart was charged with impersonating an officer, and his friend was charged with tampering with evidence, as police reported that the red and blue lights – which Stewart said he bought at a flea market – had been removed and stowed in the friend's luggage.

According to a published report, Stewart earns an estimated $10 million annually. He has been generously involved in charity work, but perhaps he could use a little of that money to hire someone who will give him a dope slap the next time he tries something dumb.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

That Answers That Question

Last Fall, the police in an upscale Bergen County town disrupted a noisy underage drinking party.

Responding to neighbor complaints, police arrived at the location and immediately occupants began to run from the house and shout to others that the cops had arrived. Police estimated that upwards of 50 young persons had attended the party and that a very large number of empty beer cans were found inside the house.

The back yard was also littered with beer cans and a "beer pong" table was set up on the patio. In the basement, the police found a cluster of juveniles who said that they did not know where the homeowner was.

Police found a locked bathroom door and demanded that it be opened. The door was opened and an 18-year-old female stepped out and admitted that she lived in the house. Her 22-year-old sister was found inside the bathroom.

It is at this point that disapproving persons begin to ask, "Where are the parents?" Well, police pulled back the shower curtain and found the girls’ 51-year-old mother crouched in the corner.

The mother and her daughters were given a court date.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Joseph Kilmurray

Here’s a great photo of a great cop. It’s Teaneck Officer Joseph Kilmurray 50 years ago, in 1961, at the door of a Plymouth patrol car.

Joseph Kilmurray died this past Saturday at the age of 88.

Kilmurray joined the Teaneck Police Department in 1949 and retired as chief in 1981. That’s a career of more than 30 years, in a single town.

He joined his hometown department before we were born, and retired after we graduated Teaneck’s Fairleigh Dickinson University.

His service to Teaneck was perhaps in his genes. His uncle, T.J. Kilmurray, was an original member of the Teaneck Police Department nearly 100 years ago.

Joseph Kilmurray was also a member of what newsman Tom Brokaw dubbed "the Greatest Generation." He was on board the cruiser USS San Francisco in Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. His ship not damaged in the bombing, and he stayed aboard the ship for three years, taking part in the Battle of Guadalcanal and other major naval engagements in the Pacific. He was later promoted to chief of the destroyer USS Stevens.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years. His marriage and his service are testaments to his character.

Commemorating September 11

This year will mark the tenth anniversary.

Smith & Warren, the badge manufacturer that can trace its roots back to 1925, is offering a special 9/11 commemorative. It is a ten-year anniversary Commendation Bar, available in an underlying gold or silver finish, incorporating the design of the Pentagon and the World Trade Center towers to spell out simply, 2011 and Never Forget. These pins are 1-3/8" x 3/8" in size.
Similarly, V.H. Blackinton, the badge manufacturer founded in 1852, yes, 1852, has created two new 9/11 Challenge Coin designs that commemorate the tragic events of September 11, and pay tribute to the courage and sacrifice of everyone involved on this singular day.

As a factory-direct distributor for both Smith & Warren and V.H. Blackinton we are pleased to offer these special commemorative keepsakes.

Smith & Warren will be donating a portion of the sale proceeds to the Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund, and Blackinton will be donating a portion of the proceeds to the September 11th Widows and Victims Families' Association, Inc.

Blackinton is also offering a custom 9/11 commemorative badge that can be engraved as you choose, shown below. For this or any of these commemorative products, contact the Badge Company of New Jersey for ordering information.
Incidentally, one of the two coin designs includes a representation of the famous firefighter photo taken by New Jersey’s Tom Franklin and documented previously on this blog. Click the "9/11" in the blog labels column to the right and then scroll down to read the fascinating story of this photo.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Religious Wars?

Recent news item:

A northern New Jersey pastor accused of stabbing another preacher has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and unlawful possession of a weapon.

A minister stabbing another minister?

As it turns out, this appears to be a crime of passion – plain old secular passion.

It was reported that the stabber, a man, and the stabbee, a woman, had been, as the saying goes, in a relationship. Further, it was reported that he is married.

No word on the specific teachings of their respective churches, but it would seem likely that they include some form of Thou Shall Not Fool Around on the Side, not to mention Thou Shall Not Stab.

Friday, March 4, 2011

New QuickShip Badge

In additional to offering nearly 200 of our own public safety badge styles, the Badge Company of New Jersey is a factory-direct distributor for four other badge manufacturers, allowing us to offer more badges that any other source. That’s why we say, "We’ve Got Your Badge."

As noted in an earlier post, one of those manufacturers V.H. Blackinton, founded in 1852. The badge shown in the photo is Blackinton’s model #B736, and it is one of the more popular styles offered.

It is, however, what is known in the industry as an "applied panel" badge, meaning that the individual engraved panels of text are added to the underlying badge shape during the manufacturing process. As a result, it is a labor-intensive badge to make, and it takes time.

Blackinton has now developed an all-new version of this badge and added it to their "QuickShip" program. The QuickShip program includes 15 distinct badge styles that can be shipped from the factory in as little as five business days after receipt of the order.

The new badge has the engravable panels as part of the overall badge die, enabling it to be part of the QuickShip program. It is otherwise identical to the popular #B736.

The new badge is designated as model #B3320, and it is available right now. The Badge Company of New Jersey is ready to assist you with your orders for this or any other Blackinton badge.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wrong About That

Back in 2009 we blogged about road rage, and how that being encased in an automobile appears to embolden people toward venting anger in ways that walking does not.

We referenced humorist George Carlin’s description of how drivers tend to refer to someone who drives slower than themselves as an idiot, and someone who drives faster than themselves as a maniac. We concluded that there is no such thing as "sidewalk rage," noting that if you encounter someone on the sidewalk who is walking either slower or faster than you, you don’t give it a second thought.

Wrong, apparently.

In today’s Wall Street Journal appears an item headlined Get Out of My Way, You Jerk!, in which researchers say the concept of "sidewalk rage" is real. The article includes the information that on Facebook there is a group called "I Secretly Want to Punch Slow Walking People in the Back of the Head," a group which boasts nearly 15,000 members.

The article goes on to report many of the researchers’ findings, including how fast tourists walk as compared to local residents, how talking on one’s cell phone affects one’s pace, and even the psychology that causes people to believe that they are the ones "walking correctly."

Still, one key difference appears to be that those who experience "sidewalk rage" often internalize it, getting angry and upset but not venting as motorists so often do. However, it appears possible that some candidates for the Facebook group may eventually replace their secret desire to punch fellow pedestrians with an overt action.

We hope that we’re wrong about that, too. But if we are not, our message from the earlier posting remains true: It can’t be hard to think "excuse me" instead of "moron!"

Photo by Ed O'Keeffe

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Recently, a Jersey City police officer suffered a severe concussion after being struck by a drunk driver.

The officer and his partner were responding to a burglar alarm when a passing car struck the officer as he walked around his patrol car.

The driver then sped away, running a red light in the process, until police later spotted the car and apprehended the driver.

A driver whose given first name proved to be "Tequila."

Parents, when you name your child "Tequila," you are pretty much defining that child’s destiny.

This is not to suggest that naming your child "Einstein" will necessarily lead to a Nobel Prize, but what goals are you setting with a name like "Tequila?"

A Breathalyzer test revealed that Tequila’s blood alcohol level was .13, significantly greater than the legal limit of .08.

Tequila's 7-year-old daughter was in the back seat of the car. The name of the child has not been reported, but "Margarita" would be an improvement.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Braxmar Badges

The Charles G. Braxmar Company was founded in 1879 and until being acquired by V.H. Blackinton at the beginning of the 21st century was located in New York City.

The image above is from a Braxton catalog, circa 1927.

V.H. Blackinton, itself with roots extending back to 1852, acquired the Braxmar company and continues to offer the Braxmar line. Certain Braxmar products continue to be available, while others have been superceded by corresponding Blackinton items.

Braxmar sold direct to public safety agencies, and so for several years following the acquisition Blackinton continued to accept direct orders for Braxmar products. But this practice has now been phased out, and all orders must be processed through an authorized Blackinton dealer.

The Badge Company of New Jersey is, of course, a direct distributor for all Blackinton products, so whether you are trying to match an old Braxmar badge or you simply want to order from Blackinton’s extensive line of badges and insignia, we can make the process easy.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Officer Christopher Matlosz

It has been an eventful few days for police in New Jersey. On Friday, Lakewood officer Christopher Matlosz was killed – executed is a better word – while seated in his patrol car, having stopped to speak with a pedestrian.

On Sunday, police arrested the individual that they identified as the shooter.

On the one hand, it is satisfying to know that this individual has been apprehended and will be brought to justice.

On the other hand, we have to agree with words attributed to State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes: "There is no joy in catching an accused cop killer.”

Officer Matlosz was not married, but he was engaged. The photo shows him and his fiancee, Kelly Walsifer, smiling widely.

Here at the Badge Company, we are sensitive to the death of a police officer, not only because it is a tragedy for the families and communities, but also because so often the officer works for an agency that we serve. We hear the anguish in the voices of their colleagues. Frequently, we are asked to prepare commemorative badges used in memorial ceremonies. We are honored to provide this service, but it only makes the sense of loss even more compelling.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

To Serve You Better

Over the next few days, we are moving our web site and related online files to a new and much larger server system which became operational this week.

The new servers will allow us to offer a variety of new web-based features, although don’t expect everything to happen all at once. We are still relatively new to the world of online services, and so we will be adding new features as time goes by.

Most of the changeover will happen seamlessly, without any visible evidence. However, some aspects of this move may take us offline, briefly, over the weekend of January 8-9. Don’t worry, we’ll be back shortly.

By the way, we don’t do this in-house. Our IT needs are provided with knowledgeable service and prompt attention by the Round Mountain Group
( ) which has helped us move from being a company with no web presence only a few years ago to a firm that embraces the internet and what it has to offer. If you do not know where to turn for web services, we can recommend the Round Mountain Group without hesitation.