Auburn police may use $5,000 gift for new badges

Chief wants ‘One department … one badge’
By: Jon Schultz, Journal Staff Writer
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The Auburn Police Department received a $5,000 donation that could potentially pay for new badges to replace the currently issued variety.

“I believe we work for one department – we should have one badge,” Chief John Ruffcorn said.

The current badges are silver for officers and gold for administrators. Some say “police” on top and “Auburn” on the bottom and some are the reverse of that.

The prototype badge is gold and has the iconic symbol of Claude Chana panning for gold in Auburn in the center. It also displays the department’s city and state of residence.

“We’ve created the design and actually purchased a mock up, and I showed it around to a few different groups at the city … and have had really positive reviews on it,” Ruffcorn said.

It’s just one consideration for how to use the donation, which the Auburn City Council voted to accept on Monday.

Auburn resident Richard Rey made the donation, and Ruffcorn said Rey would have preferred to remain anonymous, but it was required he list the source of the donation in his report to City Council. Rey donated $5,000 to the Auburn Police Department in 2010 and $15,000 to help cover Placer High School football transportation costs in 2011.

“Richard is just a wonderful gentleman who is a proud citizen of Auburn, and he is reaching out to the police department to give a wonderful donation to help what we’re trying to do here,” Ruffcorn said.

In Ruffcorn’s staff report to council, he wrote that if the donation was accepted, it would be used toward new badges and equipment for volunteers, but he told the Journal that the department will weigh all its options and prioritize the money accordingly.

“That’s where the money could go,” he said of the badges and uniforms. “We really have to prioritize our spending. The budget is really tight right now, as everyone knows, so we want to make sure before we purchase them that we don’t need this money in other places.”

At $125 apiece, the cost to outfit the entire department with new badges would be $3,500, Ruffcorn said. Volunteer uniforms cost around $100 apiece, he said.


Jon Schultz can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Jon_AJNews