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HPD officers to wear 9/11 badges

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HOUSTON – For the first time, Houston police officers will be allowed to wear 9/11 commemorative badges during September. Chief Art Acevedo said he began this practice in Austin and told KPRC he wanted Houston police officers to be allowed to join in the tradition.

“We can never let people forget the sacrifice of our first responders during what was the single greatest attack on American soil,” Acevedo said. “These badges commemorate that sacrifice.”

While wearing the 9/11 badge is not mandatory, it did have to be approved by the chief, since it is not part of HPD’s official uniform. Houston police officers do have to purchase these badges on their own. An order form for the badge lists the cost at $100.

The badges are made by Absolute Victory Insignia, a company founded by retired police officers. According the company’s website, each “museum quality” badge has a lifetime warranty. The badges are customized to show rank or badge number and specific agency. The company states these badges are only available to verified first responders or those honorably retired.

The badges feature the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and the number of first responders who died during the 9/11 attacks. The company began the “American First Responders United” project in 2012 and lists several departments across the country as participating in the project.

Below is part of the email sent HPD personnel:

"To recognize and symbolize unity amongst America’s First Responders, Absolute Victory Insignia has developed the 9/11 badge, which is being customized for each and every participating agency, including the Houston Police Department.  As such, Chief Acevedo has requested that this information be disseminated to all classified personnel and to announce that the department will authorize uniform use during the entire month of September each year to commemorate 9/11.

"A graphic of the police officer version of the HPD 9/11 Badge is on the attached form, noting that the Top Ribbon of the Badge will list the specific rank being ordered, with Officers and Senior Officers having their badge number entered on the Bottom Ribbon.  Sergeants and above to include the Chief of Police will also have their rank on the Top Ribbon, but will have rank insignia graphics on the Bottom Ribbon."

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