SAPD unveils commemorative Tricentennial badge

Starting in January, members of the San Antonio Police Department will have the option to begin wearing their new Tricentennial badge.

SAN ANTONIO - Starting in January, members of the San Antonio Police Department will have the option to begin wearing their new Tricentennial badge.

It's a token celebrating the city's 300th birthday.

KENS 5 talked with one of the masterminds behind the design.

The San Antonio Police Department's Tricentennial Badge honors the city's legacy and culture.

"It's good for morale. It's good for folks to see and it's a nice commemorative token of the city's 300th anniversary," San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said.

Sergeant Tonja Brandt of the San Antonio Police Department is one of three members who designed the badge.

Her first thought was to recognize law enforcement's history over the last 300 years.

"Very quickly I realized that law enforcement as we know it did not exist until the late 1800's, early 1900's," Brandt said. "So I decided to go in a different direction."

She then teamed up with the Institute of Texan Cultures and came up with three main elements that would honor the city's rich history.

"Did some research and found that Spain was the ruling government at that time in South Texas, and the Franciscan Monks were coming into the area to spread Christianity to the local indigenous people," Brandt said.

Along with the Spanish coat of arms and the Franciscan seal, the third component on the badge is the then Governor of Texas and Coahuila, Martín de Alarcón.

"He was present when they selected their site for Mission de Valero, which later became known as The Alamo," Brandt said. "He later named that location, and several days later on the other side of the San Antonio River, he selected the site for the presidio. San Antonio Presidio de Bexár which all together would be known to us as San Antonio."

The round shape of the badge resembles the coin-shaped badges worn by the Spanish soldiers.

"It was a coin they would take and press out. In fact, the star we recognize on so many badges these days actually traces its origins back to those Spanish soldiers," Brandt said

Chief McManus says all badges were done at no cost to taxpayers or the San Antonio Police Department.

Officers of all ranks have the option to purchase the badge to be worn beginning in January 2018.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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