The Dalles Police Department has a new uniform shoulder patch, created with officer input, that features Mt. Hood, the Columbia River, downtown landmarks, cherries and wheat.
It is outlined by “the thin blue line,” which represents police as the barrier between law and order and chaos.
The patch it replaced was reportedly developed in the late 1950s after The Dalles Dam was built, said The Dalles Police Capt. Jamie Carrico. It featured the dam, The Dalles bridge, and grain silos.
The idea for a new patch came from Chief Patrick Ashmore at a staff meeting in mid-2017, said Carrico. Designing the patch took four to five months, with officers and their spouses giving input.
“It was a family affair,” Carrico said. “All the officers had input, which made it a little more special.”
The patch also depicts a downtown The Dalles skyline, with St. Peter’s Landmark on the west and the roundabout on the east, which features a replica of the obelisks, or pillars, that once stood around town in the middle of various intersections.
Dan Durow, retired community development director for the city of The Dalles, said the roundabout obelisk is three times the size of the original
pillars, of which he believed four originally existed in downtown.
After cars became commonplace in town, the obelisks were placed in the center of intersections as a way to guide traffic.
“They were one of the original traffic devices, probably the first traffic devices installed in The Dalles,” Durow said of the obelisks.
The shoulder patches were switched out six months ago, and Susan Wood, of Susan’s Custom Sewing, took off the old patches and put on the new ones.
Each officer is issued four uniform shirts.
Carrico said Optimist Printers helped with putting the design idea into digital format. It was then sent off to Gall’s, a police outfitting company, which sent back a few example patches for the department to pick from.
Design ideas were bandied about in the department. Someone suggested putting fish in the river, but that was voted down.
The original sky in the image was gray, but officers and their spouses said that gave the misimpression it was overcast a lot in The Dalles, so the sky was changed to blue.
“Everybody had opinions on the colors, but we wanted it a little more subdued than the last one,” Carrico said of the old patch, which featured yellow lettering and yellow borders.
He said the new patch was “just a change. There was nothing wrong with the other one, it served us well for a long time.”
In addition to the new patches, Chaplain Doug Marquardt hand-crafted a wooden depiction of the new design, which he made from 60 individual pieces of wood.
His art is on display in the department’s conference room.