Yellow and blue patch retiring from Mesa police force

Senta Scarborough
The Arizona Republic
Mar. 28, 2008 07:41 AM
A Mesa police icon, the department’s yellow and blue patch, is retiring.

The bright police patch has stood out on the sleeves of Mesa police officers for more than 30 years.

To some, that’s been a benefit, but for others it’s a risk for officers during tactical situations. The debate ended with a recent vote by Mesa police officers who chose a darker, more subtle blue and silver patch.

“The patch is seen as your department representative. It’s an issue of pride,” said Officer Fabian Cota, president of the Mesa Police Association.

The department isn’t paying for the new patches. Both police unions are helping by providing patches free or at a reduced cost.

With the patch change, Mesa police uniforms will take on a new look by switching the color of metal name tag and service stripes from brushed gold to silver to better match.

A sense of Mesa’s culture and place was added to the patch in the 1960s when a white, green and orange patch worn on a light-blue uniform replaced generic patches. The white and orange was worn until the blue and yellow patch, designed by a police officer and based on a city logo, arrived in 1978.

Patches are often colorful and tell the story of a department’s history, making them a collector’s item for police officers and the public. Some departments provide an explanation of design and history of a patch, including what the colors represent.

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