This story has resurfaced on the net from a report back around Halloween of last year. I had to double-check to make sure the photos and the story weren’t some sort of Photoshop or “April Fools” style prank. Sure enough, a number of German newspapers reported the story, clips of which I have translated from German.
(sueddeutche.de) After great confusion the question of the origin of an unusual police badge featuring a hemp leaf was clarified. The police officials made the badge themselves, according to a spokesman from the Lower Saxony Interior Ministry.
Police officers in drug control from Lower Saxony and Bremen wore the badges on Wednesday on the Hamburg road and thus caused confusion – even among the police themselves.
(tz-online.de) The clothing regulation of Lower Saxony provides that police officers wear the regular coat of arms on the sleeve, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry said on Thursday. “There are no variations.”
The Technical Coordinator of Drugs in Road Traffic of the Hamburg police, said the badge was a sign of recognition for officers who are especially trained for drug detection in traffic. Other officials have such a special badge, such as divers, dog handlers or bomb experts.
I don’t know if I like the idea of officers trained to bust cannabis consumers wearing our symbol. But I do know American police departments could learn a thing or two from the Germans in recruiting. I also think Hamburg drogenerkennung patches and uniforms will make a hell of a sales item on eBay!