Five finely crafted, gold-filled works of a world-class jeweler are ready to adorn the chests of new St. Louis Police Chief Daniel Isom and other top cops. Price tag, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: $1,987 each — about 100 times the price of a patrolman's badge. That's a bargain for the St. Louis police, who acknowledged they had paid $5,900 apiece for two solid-gold badges for Isom predecessor Joe Mokwa. (Mokwa accepted one and Isom wears the other.)
The latest badges were a nearly $10,000 line item in a unanimous vote by the Board of Police Commissioners to approve December purchases. That was just hours before the department admitted that it had wrongly kept up to $6 million seized in the arrest of suspects. At a press conference after the Post-Dispatch disclosed the purchase, Isom called the badge expenditures “outrageous.” He said there would be no more such spending. St. Louis County Police Chief Jerry Lee's badge cost $110. Kansas City Police Chief James Corwin's cost $48.75. “We get a lot of compliments on it,” Kansas City police spokesman Darin Snapp said. “No one has ever asked for an upgrade.” Col. James F. Keathley may be superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol but he is the king of thrift. The patrol's uniforms do not include badges. Insignias bearing his troop and badge numbers cost $3.15 per collar.