01/28/2011

The Badge Keeper: A simple solution to a common problem

Heavy badges pull on your shirt, hanging limply off your chest in a way that does not command respect

Mike Kenney, a 9-year veteran of the Lynn, Massachusetts police department, has one major pet peeve: saggy badges.

“I can’t take the way it looks. Even when you’re wearing body armor, your badge just hangs loosely on your shirt,” he said during a recent phone interview.

For those who wear badges every day – not just cops, but firefighters, paramedics and security staff as well – it’s a common problem. Badges are heavy and they pull on your shirt, hanging limply off your chest. It’s not a look that commands respect.

For years Kenney had been wearing a piece of cardboard or folded paper behind his shirt to stabilize his badge – a practice he says is common among his fellow officers. A year ago he was getting dressed and noticed the piece of cardboard he’d been using to support his badge was worn out. That’s when he decided to draw up a prototype for a more lasting solution.

The result is the Badge Keeper, a simple, rectangular piece of black plastic that supports your badge by creating a stable surface on the inside of your shirt. The Badge Keeper not only improves your appearance -- it also eliminates a grab point, Kenney says.

But ultimately, having a professional-looking badge is about respect for yourself, and your job. Kenney, on his website, puts it like this: “I worked hard to earn my badge, and I know you did too. Display it properly, professionally, and with pride.”

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