It was my grandfather George W. Stockley, a homicide detective from 1945 to 1960, who sparked my interest in the chronology of our city’s badges. He worked on such historic cases as the Black Dahlia murder. So, in a tip of the hat to the new Police Administration Building across the street from LA’s downtown offices, here’s a retrospective of the ever-evolving insignia worn by the city’s finest since the inception of the Los Angeles Police Department in 1869, including backstory on who wore some of the badges and highlights of their careers, as well as notable events in the annals of L.A. crime.
Special thanks to Keith Bushey, the LAPD Historic Society and Cornel Panov for sharing their collections
Additional research by A. Moret and Michelle Miranda