Troy Christianson

Badge position determined by individual department agencies

Ask A Trooper

Question: I've often wondered why Troopers wear their badges on their pocket flaps and not their chests like other law enforcement officers. Can you tell me the story behind that?

Answer: Each individual agency and department will have different rules and regulations as to how the badge is to be worn, although badge placement isn’t random and has some historical significance. Law enforcement agencies will often reinforce the pocket that is being used to hold the badge, which will typically be on the left side of the uniform. Whether worn on or over the pocket, the badge is to sit on top of the police officer’s heart.

The badge is to be worn over the heart for two main purposes: first, to remind them of their pledge to protect; and second, because the left arm was the arm that often held the coat of arms shield of knights to protect the heart, leaving the dominant hand to fight with a weapon.

The badge represents those who protect and serve. Similar to the knights of old, the badge has become a universal symbol that can be recognized quickly by anyone, regardless of where they are from or what language they speak. This can be extremely beneficial as police officers, troopers and sheriff’s deputies come across people from all backgrounds and from all over the world.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober.  Help us drive Minnesota toward zero deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at Statue 169.791 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848.  (Or reach him at,

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