Clayton officers sporting new patch, with nods to the past

Richard McEachin, Clayton Police ChiefCLAYTON, CA (Jan. 23, 2024) — Clayton’s police officers have a new look.

We recently began wearing a revised shoulder patch that is modern and historic at the same time. It contains a combination of both previous versions worn by the department since its inception in 1972.

At its formation, the Clayton Police Department held a contest to design the first shoulder patch. Twelve-year-old Dave Watson drew the winning design, which depicted Mt. Diablo with a stagecoach and the phrase “EST. 1857” printed on it. (Joel Clayton founded Clayton in 1857). A yellow border and the words “CLAYTON POLICE” surrounded the landscape.

In 1975, then-Chief Bill Lorimor and his officers decided that they wanted to ditch the cowboy hats and tan and green uniforms, and instead wear blue uniforms, which were gaining in popularity with agencies across California.

New look

Along with new uniforms, the department designed a new shoulder patch – going from the traditional star badge to a shield badge with an eagle perched on top. The new patch still had the iconic mountains, but they replaced the stagecoach with a shield badge similar to the badge officers now wear on the left chest.

The badge included the phrase “ESTABLISHED 1857,” keeping in step with the previous version. The sky was teal colored, with “CLAYTON POLICE” placed above the mountains.

The new patch brings back the stagecoach, which was a part of Clayton’s rich history. It’s pulled by a horse, which remains a focal point of our region to this day. The sky is now a more realistic blue, which matches the stripes our sergeants wear, as well as the lettering on our patrol vehicles. The mountains and clouds from the 1975 patch remain, and the bottom reads “EST. 1857” to keep in tradition with the previous incarnations.

Along with the new patch, Clayton officers are now wearing star badges again. Most police agencies in Contra Costa County wear a star badge, and it is well-known throughout the Bay Area. The Ed Jones Co., located in Berkeley, manufactured the badges. The company has been making badges for agencies all over California and parts of the country since 1898, including earlier versions of Clayton’s badges. We were proud to have such an icon in the industry help us create the new badges. They turned out great.

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