U.S. Park Police Challenge Coins
Once known as the Park Watchmen, the U.S. Park Police (USPP) are one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the country and have earned honor and respect long before challenge coin traditions began. The officers of the USPP are tasked with enforcing saving lives, protecting national treasures, and preserving the natural and cultural resources of the country. As a full-service police force, the organization is charged with both their unique function of policing national parks and providing normal crime prevention activities including arrests and investigations. In recognition of their essential role in serving the needs of the National Park Service and providing for the safety of nearby communities, USPP officers are often awarded unique police challenge coins both as a mark of respect and solidarity.
These challenge coins are distinct and unique to the respected police force they represent. For over 15 years, Signature Coins is a proud industry leader designing and producing challenge coins for clients in law enforcement, military service, and major corporations. Our company’s mission is to provide consistent high-quality challenge coins suited for the needs of all our clients, and to that end, we’ve designed quality products in every size, shape, and color imaginable.
What are U.S. Park Police Challenge Coins?
A tradition that began first in the military, challenge coins are awarded to enforcement officers across the nation to honor and recognize law enforcement officers for their exceptional service. Unique challenges coins typically feature the emblems, symbols, and iconography of their commissioning organization. For example, a U.S. Park Police challenge coin may feature the iconic badge of the organization as a relief on one of the coin’s sides while representing the buffalo flag of their supervisory organization on the flip side.
Over the course of their career, a USPP officer may earn or collect many different challenge coins from the different police stations of units they work with. Newly recruited officers also often have unique challenge coins representing their previous occupations in other law enforcement organizations or in military units.
As a fully-functioning police force in service since George Washington’s presidency, the USPP has a long history stretching back to the nation’s formative years. This long history is often honored in the design of a station’s individual unit coins and many of the law enforcement’s individual stations may honor their officers with challenge coins unique to that station including:
- The Central District Station - This location plays host to the National Independence Day Celebration and Washington D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival along with its regular policing duties.
- George Washington Memorial Parkway Station - Officers are responsible for providing law enforcement of the George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP), the Clara Barton Parkway (formerly GWMP-Maryland), and the C&O Canal.
- Rock Creek Park Station - As well as community law enforcement duties, the officers of Rock Creek Park Station, provide security for summer concerts held at the Carter Barron Amphitheatre.
- Greenbelt Park Station - Home station of the Warrant Squad, responsible for all misdemeanor and traffic warrants from incidents occurring on Force jurisdiction in Maryland.
- Anacostia Park Station - This location houses the USPP Special Forces, Criminal Investigations, and Training Branches.
- New York Field Office - Headquartered in Staten Island, New York, the New York Field Office is staffed by Horse Mounted Units, a Criminal Investigations Unit, and a SWAT Team to patrol the Jamaica Bay and Staten Island Units of the Gateway National Recreation Area, and at the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island National Historic Site.
- San Francisco Field Office - Officers stationed at SFFO provide law enforcement for the Presidio and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
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Brief History of the U.S. Park Police
The UPSS was first known as the Park Watchmen when they were initially recruited into service under the orders of President George Washington under a congressional mandate. The first Park Watchmen were charged with protecting and safeguarding public property and buildings and the modern U.S. Park Police traces its lineage back to a single officer charged with protecting the Executive Mansion, now known as the White House.
Since then their numbers have swelled, first from a small unit of officers tasked with protecting the White House and then broadening into a full police force under the purview of the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Park Service. Today’s UPSS is a full-force law enforcement agency with plainclothes patrol officers and specialized units to cover their wide jurisdiction.
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Police School Challenge Coins
While individual stations or their police chiefs may have unique coins crafted for members of their entire station, it’s not uncommon for individual officers serving specific units to have their own unit-based challenge coins for members of their specialized units.
Some of these specialized units include:
- UPSS Marine Units
- UPSS Aviation Units
- UPSS SWAT Teams
- UPSS Canine Units
- UPSS Motorcycle Units
- UPSS Special Events Units
- UPSS Traffic Safety Units
- UPSS Horse Mounted Patrols
- UPSS Criminal Investigations Branch
The Icon Protection Branch
One of the unique responsibilities of the UPSS that distinguishes the organization from other law enforcement groups is their responsibility for the protection of national monuments and memorials. To achieve this aim, the UPSS hosts a specialized police unit called the Icon Protection Branch based at the Central District Station. The Icon Protection Branch patrols national monuments and memorials located in the downtown areas of Washington D.C. and their law enforcement protections extend into the areas located around the White House.Call and Speak to a Specialist Today
Unique Challenge Coins from Signature Coins
Clients who order from Signature Coins aren’t ordering a product, they’re ordering a full design and production service for their challenge coins. Over our 15 years of service, we have consistently crafted high-quality challenge coins that take into account all of the rich history and cultures of the organizations that come to us. Our team of professional artists works individually with each client to bring their ideas from a base concept to a fully-plated coin they can prize for years to come.
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- Free Color Artwork with Each Quote
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