Law Practice

CA's AG: 'Police' Badge Banned ... Uh-Oh

Oops. Providing police badges to people who aren’t police officers is illegal. But apparently nobody at the California Attorney General’s office realized that until folks in Riverside County asked for an opinion on the issue.

The AG’s office dutifully provided one–and then began collecting from its own attorneys some 1,200 police-type badges that had previously been handed out, reports the San Jose Mercury News.

“Honorary badges have been given in many areas to city council members, county supervisors, animal control officers, district attorney prosecutors, public defenders, law enforcement auxiliary groups, ceremonial mounted posses, courtroom clerks, emergency dispatchers and others,” the newspaper reports. However, there is an obvious potential for abuse if recipients show the badges and are mistaken for police officers.

From now on, any such badges issued by the AG’s office will clearly say that the holder is not a peace officer, according to a spokesman.

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